WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
As Ekiti State government has been rated as the second highest in the country in terms of open defecation, the government has restated its commitment to eradicate open defecation before 2022, by taking the campaign to learning institutions and public places.
The government stated that it has established a Task Force across all the State Ministries, Departments and agencies of government and also spreading the campaign to schools on the need to implement rules guiding Water Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) to halt open defecation.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Thursday at an occasion marking the 2019 edition of WASH, the Commissioner for Public Utilities, Bamidele Faparusi, called for a collaborative efforts among all stakeholders in order to achieve the year 2022 target of open defecation free state.
Faparusi said the present administration would step up efforts by paying dvocacy visits to local governments and market places, establish WASH committee accross MDAs and develop an action plan, as part of the strategies to achieving the target.
He said WASH programme is an initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) targeted at promoting hygiene in the society, which he said Ekiti has keyed into.
Faparusi, commended the State Universal Basic Education Board for its diligence, and proactive efforts at stemming the tide of open defecation across primary schools in the state.
Stressing the importance of hand washing and sanitation in the society, the Commissioner explained that; “the programme is part of the advocacy and awareness exercise aimed at protecting the state especially pupils from primary schools across the state.
“Governor Kayode Fayemi is committed to the welfare of the people of the state and we are determined to continue to provide enabling environment that would enhance good health and hygiene.
“The WASH day was introduced by the global body , WHO in an attempt at addressing environmental issues such as global warming, pollution, open defecation, deforestation, famine among others, capable of having negative effects on human existence.
“The fight against open defecation has become necessary, in order to safeguard lives of human beings, which is currently being threatened by human activities such as mineral exploration, deforestation, environmental pollution and technological advancement”, he said.
He equally tasked public institutions, organisations and bodies charged with the provision, treatment and distribution of water, to always ensure that they carry out effective monitoring of pipes conveying it to different homes, hospitals and industries, in order to ensure that only safe and clean water is provided for human consumption.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Head of Service,Mr.Ayodeji Ajayi ,expressed the determination of the current administration under Fayemi , to deploy practical steps at ensuring that the state achieve its target of attaining the status of open defecation free state by the year 2022.
Speaking at the second meeting of Ekiti State task group on sanitation (STGS)and body of Permanent Secretaries in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, Ajayi observed that the nation at large was regressive in terms of basic hygiene principles as open defecation have become a topical issue in recent past.
Ayodeji who noted that government has no excuse whatsoever as basic hygiene facilities are practically not in place as expected thereby diminishing the humanity in our existence urged stakeholders to be an ambassador in this regard by taking the campaign against open defecation with the seriousness it deserves.