Bakori Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State has been certified by UNICEF as the first local council in Katsina State to attain Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has certified Bakori Local Government Area (LGA) as the first local council in Katsina State to attain Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
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Alhaji Suleiman Nalado, Head of Administration, Bakori Local Government Council, disclosed this to members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ on Monday in Bakori who visited the area for projects’ inspection.
He said that the certification followed the tremendous progress which the council recorded in the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) programme that was supported by UNICEF in the state.
“The experts went round the area and could not find a place where our people still defecate in the open.
“So, I am happy to inform you that people of Bakori Local Government Area have stopped open defecation; UNICEF will make a declaration to that effect in March,’’ he said.
Nalado said that the council had constructed over 20 toilets in strategic locations across the local government area to prevent people from practising open defecation.
He said that UNICEF had sponsored the officer in charge of the SHAWN programme in the area to Switzerland for a workshop, in recognition of the council’s efforts to attain the ODF status.
“People should continue to use soap and other hand washing materials after using toilets. We are going to continue to educate them on that issue for us to be able to sustain our ODF status,’’ he said.
Nalado said that the campaign would also facilitate the council’s efforts to prevent the outbreak of water and sanitation related diseases that were responsible for child and maternal mortality.
The council boss reiterated the need for people in the neighbourhood to make proper use of toilet facilities and embrace the habit of hand washing.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Bakori LGA recorded a 100-per-cent success in the last ODF certification exercise conducted in Katsina State last December, while Safana LGA had the poorest performance with a 39-per-cent score.
Out of the 402 communities that claimed to be open defecation free in the state, UNICEF confirmed that only 279 communities have actually stopped open defecation. (NAN)