Saturday, May 25, 2024

UNICEF asks governors to support sustainable WASH systems

This appeal was made during the launch of the WASH Sector-wide Sustainability Checks Action Plan and Sustainability Compact in Abuja.

• April 17, 2024
Jane Bevan at WASH Sector-wide Sustainability Checks Action Plan and Sustainability Compact in Abuja
Jane Bevan at WASH Sector-wide Sustainability Checks Action Plan and Sustainability Compact in Abuja

On Wednesday, Jane Bevan, UNICEF chief of WASH, emphasised state governments’ crucial role in promoting programmes to enhance access to clean water and sanitation services.

This appeal was made during the launch of the WASH Sector-wide Sustainability Checks Action Plan and Sustainability Compact in Abuja.

The initiative aims to enhance the sustainability of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene infrastructure across the nation.

Ms Bevan said this entailed establishing water departments, training skilled maintenance personnel, and providing technical assistance at the grassroots level.

She highlighted the ambiguity surrounding the responsibility for bearing the costs of operating and maintaining water systems in the country.

According to her, given the government’s limitations in funding all systems, communities must devise methods to collect funds for repairs and maintenance.

In collaboration with UNICEF and other stakeholders, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation introduced the WASH Sector-wide Sustainability Checks Action Plan and Sustainability Compact.

Bello Goronyo, Minister of State, underscored the pivotal role of the WASH sector in promoting human well-being and sustainable development.

He emphasised the need to move beyond mere access to WASH services towards ensuring their long-term sustainability.

Mr Goronyo said, “The Sustainability Compact represents a commitment to future generations, requiring collective efforts from government, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, and communities.

“The introduction of the Sustainability Checks Action Plan aims to monitor and track sustainability factors in WASH services systematically. The initiative is supported by the government of Nigeria, UNICEF, and other partners in the WASH sector.”

The permanent secretary, Aliyu Shinkafi, emphasised the importance of water and sanitation as fundamental human rights and drivers of development.

Mr Shinkafi highlighted the transformative potential of the WASH Sector-wide Sustainability Checks Action Plan.

He stated that the framework evaluates the functionality and sustainability of WASH facilities, ensuring interventions are not temporary fixes but enduring solutions with lasting impact.

The official said every drop of water saved, every hand washed, and every toilet built brings the country closer to a healthier, equitable, and sustainable world.

Mr Shinkafi underscored that the WASH Sector-Wide Sustainability Checks Action Plan and Compact represent a commitment to leave no one behind, not just documents but a promise to ensure equitable access to essential services.

The event convened stakeholders from government ministries, development partners, technical experts, state representatives and the FCT.

(NAN)

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