The Cross River Government has applauded the Federal Government’s efforts at scaling up sanitation in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Gabe Odu, lauded the government in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
He said the Federal Government’s Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) Programme assisted 366 communities in Obanliku Local Government Area to become open defecation-free.
Journalist reports that the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is funding the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) programme in three local government areas each in Benue and Cross River states.
“The programme in the three Local Government Areas so far has yielded tremendous success in the state, with Obanliku LGA with 366 communities all becoming open defecation free (ODF), as the first local ODF local government area in the country.
“Bekwarra also is working hard towards ensuring that all its 230 local communities are cleaned up.
“Abi LGA is also cleaning up its own communities.
“The state government appreciates this endeavour, accompanied with its benefits.
“Cross River government has always been donor-friendly with its commitment of a clean and green environment.
“The state also has the potential of driving the state to ODF with a crop of trained and experienced staff.”
Odu said it was the intention of the state government to pay up its counterpart funds, saying this had led to the release of N100 million for the sanitation and hygiene sector in the EU/Water Supply Sanitation Sector Reform programme.
“Besides, N220 million has been budgeted for sanitation and other water programmes in the 2017 budget,’’ he added.
He expressed hope that match-up funds would be released to scale up the programmes in more local governments in the state, saying the benefit were obvious as there has been a report of low diseases and infections rate.
The commissioner commended the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu on the inauguration of the Partnerships for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme, saying this would go a long way to promote wellbeing.
He said the role hygiene promotion in rural areas play in the overall national development could not be over-emphasised, stressing that they provide food consumed in the city.