Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Stakeholders at a three-day workshop on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for local government WASHCOM Federation have restated their resolve to hold government at all levels accountable especially in the area of budgetary allocation for the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in their locality.
The participants, who were drawn from Talata-Mafara, Tsafe and Birni-Magaji local government areas of Zamfara State as well as Konshisha and Ogbadibo Local government areas of Benue State brainstormed on how to ensure that facilities that were already made available for water, sanitation and hygiene in their locality are also maintained.
The orientation workshop which held in Makurdi, the Benue State capital recently was organised by the Federal government in conjunction with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Department for International Development (DFID).
According to Hygiene Officer, Benue State Water and Sanitation Agency (BEWASA), Susan Ihomon, the workshop was to build the capacity of the participants on the management of WASH facilities in their communities.
She said that the workshop was also to empower them so that they can add voice to the voiceless in their community to be able to push or demand for their rights from government in the areas of water, hygiene and sanitation.
Some of the participants including Umar Abdullahi, Dahiru Maman, Mr. Dzegekwaa Michael and Princess Mercy Igoche said they have been taught how to channel their rights to the appropriate authorities so that they can respond to the needs of the people.
They commended UNICEF and DFID for the program and other programs they have intervened in their communities especially in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene in collaboration with federal, state and local government areas in the country.
“As members of the WASHCOM Federation representing our communities, we have the right to add our voice to draw the attention of authority to the plight of our community. We now know that we have power to contact them, either in their offices, through text messages, Whatsapp, telegram and so on to draw the attention of authorities to the plight of our people.”