By Salisu Sani-Idris
An NGO, Network of Female Professionals on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Nigeria, has expressed willingness to partner the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to improve sanitation and curb open defecation in the country.
The President and Convener of the network, Dr Boluwaji Onabolu, dropped the hint, while presenting a Pioneer Grand Patron Award to the Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu on Thursday in Abuja.
Onabolu, who said that the network was not okay with the level of sanitation in the country, emphasized the determination of the NGO to support the government to change the narrative.
”Here today was starting a partnership with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in relation to gender and Wash and the nomination of the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, as Grand Patron of the Network of Female Professionals in Wash in Nigeria.
” The nomination is in recognition of his laudable role in improving access to water and sanitation for the people of Nigeria.
” The partnership is also on capacity building and sanitation in particular and also ensuring advocacy for stopping open defecation, which is a personal thing and in the area of hygiene as well.
” We are not okay with the level of sanitation in Nigeria and we know that, it is not something that one institution can do alone, because all of us actually contribute to the poor state of sanitation in the country.
” That is why we believe, partnership between professional bodies and private sector is critical to carrying the message to the people and developing strategies and implementing the strategy that the government already has developed,” she added.
Earlier, the Media Director of the group, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, said that the network was doing more to educate people, including children on the importance of cleaning the environment.
” We are working in a course in schools called Kids for Clean Environment, where we teach children the reasons why they should not litter in the first place,” Ahmadu stressed.
Responding, the minister noted that in the African setting, there was no better group to champion advocacy on sanitation better than the women.
He said that the most effective way to deal with sanitation was for people to imbibe the culture themselves, saying, “the day Nigerians as individuals imbibe culture of sanitation, I think our job will have been done.’’
” Our is just to create the awareness but people need to buy it and there is no better set of people to help achieve this than the organisation like yours.
” So I really welcome this organisation and I accept the patron, yes it comes with a lot of responsibilities and I am ready for them,” the minister said. (NAN)