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74% Kwarans have access to clean water–UNICEF

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Kwara State State Government has expressed its readiness to collaborate with any donor agency to eradicate open defecation in the state.

The State Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Usman Yunusa Lade, gave the assurance when the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Wash Specialist, Mrs. Theressa Pammer, visited his office in Ilorin, the state capital.

The Commissioner stated that the state government has set aside the sum of 200 million naira to provide toilets and other wash facilities in the health, and education institutions and marketplaces.

Hon. Lade stressed that the state government has recently flagged off a campaign against open defecation as part of the state government’s effort to educate, enlighten, and sensitise the public on the need to have toilet facilities in their domain.

He emphasised that the state and National Assembly members from the state have been contacted on the need to complement the effort of the state government by providing wash facilities in their constituencies to eradicate open defecation across the state.

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He also appealed to well-meaning individuals, organisations, and non-governmental organisations to join the government’s efforts in this direction.

Earlier, the UNICEF Wash Specialist from the Kaduna office, Mrs. Theressa Pammer, briefed the management of the Ministry that she was in the state to see how her organization could support the state in eliminating open defecation.

Mrs. Pammer said that the percentage of Kwarans with access to clean water has greatly moved from less than 50% in 2018 to 74% as of 2021 according to Water Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASH-COM) survey, adding that stringent measures must be taken to sustain the improvement already being recorded in the sector.

She said that education institutions, health centres, and other public places across the state should all be provided with Wash facilities, stressing that hygiene is key to any healthy environment.

She urged the state government to work towards a 100 percent drinkable water supply to the people of the state, explaining further that the state has what it takes to set a pace for others to emulate.

She reiterated the UNICEF’s commitment to continue assisting the state in this regard.

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Speaking at the meeting, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Christiana Omolola Asonibare, appreciated the UNICEF Specialist for taking the time to visit the state and wanting to assist the state government.

She called for a strong collaboration between the organisation and the state government to move the state to greater heights.

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