Only 2 percent of people have access to Safely managed water in Bauchi, says WODASS

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

A Non-Governmental organization known as Women Development Association for Self Sustenance (WODASS) has discovered that only 2 percent of the population in Bauchi can have access to Safely managed water.

The Programme Manager of the NGO, Mr. Sukumun N. Ezekiel who stated this while speaking at a meeting of Bauchi state Emirate Council on Health, yesterday.

He said, in schools, healthcare centres and public places, access to basic WASH services is equally very low, with 18%, 7% and 3% access rates respectively.

“These statistics are alarming and they reveal that Bauchi State still has a long way to go to achieve sustainable development goal 6 of ensuring access
to adequate and equitable water, sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030″, he said.

The Programme Manager said with good hygiene practices recommended as the first line of defence in the prevention of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, Bauchi State is currently performing below average in the
provision of water, sanitation and hygiene
services.

Mr. Sukumun noted that the Water, Sanitation, Hygiene National
Outcome Routine Mapping Survey 2021
(WASHNORMS 2021) shows that 81% of the
people in Bauchi State lack access to basic hygiene services.

He said that the survey also shows that 21% still practice open defecation, thereby polluting the environment and water bodies, contributing to the consumption of contaminated water by 74% of the population.

Mr. Sukumun added that, in the meantime, millions of the state’s population, including women, children and people with disabilities, remain vulnerable to diseases such as COVID-19, as Nigeria continues to record infections and as
newer variants of the virus emerge across the
globe.

He said, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as at 14 July 2022, Bauchi State has 1,952
laboratory-confirmed cases and 24 deaths.

Sukumun noted that 257,637 cases have been confirmed nationwide with 4,206 on admission and death record of 3,144.

According to him, latest data from NCDC has shown that COVID-19 cases in the country surged by 67 per cent between June and early July 2022.

The NGO said despite the situation, the COVID-19 vaccine drive in Nigeria is met with a high level of hesitancy.

Mr. Sukumun added that, according to the National Primary
Health Care Development Agency
(NPHCDA), as at the end of July 2022, only 27 million people in Nigeria (24 per cent) of the total eligible population targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, have been fully vaccinated.

The NGO enjoined the state and local governments of Bauchi to widen the scope of the hygiene behavior change campaign to include hygiene education that
focuses on key behaviors such as respiratory hygiene, hand washing, physical distancing, safe
excreta disposal, water storage and COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

Other things the NGO want the government do is to ensure that routine sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are provided in communities and LGAS with poor access, especially those with endemic trends as well as provide such facilities in schools, healthcare centers and public places to support inclusive access to
WASH for all.

It also want the governments to Scale-up WaterAid’s Clean Family Campaign to all local government areas across the three
senatorial zones of the state and ensure personal and environmental hygiene are at the core of immediate response plans, among others.

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