EU, UNICEF partner Cross River, others to achieve open defecation free status
Towards achieving United Nations (UN) and global targets and milestones such as the Elimination of Open Defecation by 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 in water and sanitation by 2030, the European Union (EU) and the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) has partnered with Cross River State to conduct Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) clinic in Yakurr Local Government Area (LGA).
EU and UNICEF supported Yakurr LGA to conduct WASH Clinic across the 13 council wards of the LGA with the theme “Yakurr LGA Open Defecation Free (ODF) Declaration and Celebration.”
According to the UNICEF Consultant to Yakurr LGA, Mr. Collins Njoku, the overall objective of the WASH clinic was to strengthen and sustain Yakurr ODF status towards LGA wide ODF validation by third party monitors and ODF declaration by the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS) slated for July 2017.
Under the Federal Government (FG)/EU/UNICEF Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP) Phase 2 in Nigeria, UNICEF is implementing the rural component of the programme. In the programme logical framework, the intervention logic and overall objective is to increase access to safe, adequate and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services delivery in the six EU focal states: Anambra, Cross River, Osun, Kano, Jigawa and Yobe.
The specific objective is to support rural water and sanitation institutions in the six focal States to deliver sustainable water supply and sanitation services. Project objective four is to establish a State level Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system linked to the National M&E System. As part of the M&E System, WASH Clinics are conducted quarterly. WASH Clinics are review and evaluation meetings. Thus, the WASH Clinic is predicated on a system for periodic review and appraisal of programme activities, reconciling achievements made in the course of programme implementation, identifying gaps and challenges and lessons that were learnt in the course of implementation and thus setting out strategies and action plans for improved performance towards achieving stated and expected program results.
Njoku said the methodology for the WASH Clinic included a one-day non-residential meeting for the LGA and community members held across the 13 wards of Yakurr LGA. A central community in each of the wards/centers played host as the ward headquarters while water sanitation and hygiene committee (WASHCOM) representatives from other communities within the ward participated.
He said the sessions were facilitated by the LGA WASH staff with support from two State RUWASSA representatives in one day planning meeting at the LGA Headquarters Ugep and the State and LGA WASH Consultants. Njoku said community leaders from the host communities declared open the meeting and provided further leadership and support and representatives of other community based implementation structures such as Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), WASHCOM Federation, Natural Leaders and Volunteer Hygiene Promoters (VHPs) within host communities participated in the meeting as well.
Yakurr LGA WASH Coordinator, Mr Onun Omini Usani, said the ward level WASH clinics will be repeated every quarter to ensure continuous engagement with communities and attainment of set programme results with a mechanism of follow up and continuous monitoring of key action points and community action plan (CAP) developed from the clinic.
Sanitation Officer of Yakurr LGA WASH Unit, Emmanuel Enang, is optimistic that Yakurr LGA will be officially declared and conferred with LGA wide ODF status in July 2017 and that the next WASH Clinic will be a post ODF declaration and celebration Clinic to appraise, discuss and agree on WASH functionality and sustainability issues.