Water Resources

Minister Vows To End Open Defecation In 669 Local Governments

The Honourable Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev, has called for an aggressive campaign to end open defecation in 669 Local Government Areas of the country.

Prof. Utsev spoke on Friday, in Abuja, during a media roundtable with the Correspondents covering the activities of his Ministry, as part of familiarisation engagement.

He noted that out of the 774 local governments in Nigeria, only 105 local governments are open-defecation-free, leaving 669 others battling with the menace.

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The minister said, while plans are ongoing to construct toilets across the local governments, there was a need for a behavioral change campaign on the dangers of open defecation.

“Toilets are going to be constructed for people to use, but you will be surprised that some people will still not use the toilets.

“They have the toilets, but they will leave their toilets and defecate outside. The campaign will get to such people for them to know that they need to use those toilets.

“We have 774 local governments in Nigeria, but only 105 are open defecation-free, so how can we complete the remaining ones? This is the assignment for all of us. We need to target a specific number of local government monthly”, he said.

Speaking on the ministry’s achievements in the first hundred days in office, the minister disclosed that during his nationwide familiarization tour of the 12 River Basin Development Authority, he flagged off the Dry Season Farming for all the RBDAS in Benin City.

He said, he also visited some state governors and traditional rulers for continued collaborations and partnerships towards the acquisition of additional irrigable lands to boost agricultural production in the country.

Prof. Utsev said, the ministry commissioned a number of projects such as the Songhai Integrated model farms, Pewash Scheme, etc, and called on investors to participate in the partial commercialisation of the River Basins, to ascertain their functionality and contributions to the food security mandate of President Bola Tinubu.

He disclosed that the ministry has set up a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework including the development of key performance indicators KPIs for measuring the deliverables that would access the effectiveness of the irrigation strategies, track progress and achievements against set objectives.

He said, the plans of the ministry for Dams, Irrigation, Water Quality, and Water Supply in the coming years would be to complete all on-going projects and ensure that the priority areas of the mandate of the ministry were achieved in line with the renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President in the Water and Sanitation Sector.

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