Agency decries indiscriminate dumping of refuse, groundwater pollution in FCT community

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The Executive Director, FCT Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency Dr Mohammed Dan-Hassan, has raised concerns over threat of pollution from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in Mpape community.

Dan-Hassan told our Correspondent on Wednesday that the continuous dumping of refuse was worrisome and may pollute ground water sources as well as affect overall health.

He said the agency had begun sensitisation of the populace to the dangers of dumping refuse indiscriminately and open defecation practices.

“One major threat that we observed recently is the threat of pollution which is very important to prevent pollution of underground water sources.

“The way they are dumping refuse all over Mpape, if not checked over time, it can affect the quality of ground water.

“We take that very seriously and we have started the campaign against open defecation in our rural communities, the campaign is also on hygiene promotion.”

He said these interventions were geared toward having safe water sources, improved sanitation and hygiene to prevent preventable diseases in our communities.

Dan-Hassan said government alone cannot do much, stressing the need for FCT residents to come together to end open defecation, which was for the good of all.

He said at the Federal level, President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an Executive Order 009 to eradicate and stop open defecation across the country.

The official said states like the FCT was also covered by such law, noting that currently, emphasis was on sensitisation on eradicating open defecation in the nation’s capital.

He said the agency was partnering with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to implement a pilot project on ending open defecation in 12 communities in Bwari Area Council.

“What we have started now is sensitisation on eradication of open defecation, enforcement comes later when you meet high resistance to such order.

“We are using the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) model and starting with a training programme for water and Sanitation officials of the six area councils.

“We have gone to these communities to form Water and Sanitation committees to sensitise communities on importance of building and using their toilets.”

Dan-Hassan noted that the agency was not demanding communities to use water systems compulsorily, but on cost effective and available materials for toilet constructions.

It would be recalled that Buhari had in November 2019 signed the ‘Executive Order 009 to End Open Defecation in Nigeria by 2025.’

The order makes it mandatory for all public places like schools, markets, hotels, and fuel stations, places of worship, hospitals and offices to have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises.