From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has declared state of emergency on the problem of water scarcity,sanitation and hygiene in the state. Governor Ugwuanyi gave this hints during the official inauguration of an 18-man inter-ministerial committee for the implementation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH Action Plan,held at government house,yesterday.
Represented by the Secretary to the State government, SSG,Professor Simon Ortuanya,Ugwuanyi said that the importance of clean water in any society cannot be over emphasized, stating from records that over 55 million Nigerians do not have adequate access to clean water
The committee members are drawn from the state ministry of Health, Water Resources, Environment, agencies and nongovernmental organisations, NGOs.
Ugwuanyi also pointed out that it is appauling that in this computer age, many Nigerians do not have access to toilet facilities, hence they defecate in the open.
He said that he expected that the Committee would ensure that they carry out the full implementation of the WASH action plan which is to provide water for sanitation and hygiene for all.
To ensure that Enugu meets up with the action plan of eradicating open defecation before year 2025, Ugwuanyi said that his government is committed to providing water in the state for drinking and other uses that include sanitation and hygiene.
“As a government have continued to pursue the goal of providing water in the state,” he said adding that, “I declare state of emergency on water, sanitation and hygiene.”
Sequel to the provision of water, Ugwuanyi promised to build modern abbatoirs where water will be used to maintain their cleanliness.
He also promised to built public toilets in the markets in Enugu so that nobody would defecate in the open again.
Speaking on behalf of other committee members, the Special Assistance to Governor Ugwuanyi on Water Resources, Anthony Dubem Onyia, said that the committee would not disappoint the state but would carry out their mandate religiously.
“We shall do our best to see that we key into the programme. The Committee will not disappoint,” he said.