No fewer than 425 communities have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the country, the Chairman, sub-technical Committee on Water Supply and Quality Control, Mr Usang Bassey, said in Jos, the Plateau state capital.
Bassey told the National Technical Committee on Water Resources meeting in Jos, that the declaration was a result of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CTLS) programme being implemented in the country.
He said CLTS was gaining acceptability among the implementers adding that 30 states were implementing the programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was introduced by WaterAid in some communities in Benue state and it had achieved considerable success.
The programme focuses mainly on achieving sustainable behavioural change through motivation and mobilisation of communities to understand the risks associated with open defecation.
According to Bassey, more than 2,654 communities are presently implementing the CLTS and 425 communities have been declared ODF.
“There is an increase in CLTS coverage from 1,887 communities and 299 ODF communities in December 2009 to 2,654 communities and 425 ODF communities in June 2010.
“The National Task Group on Sanitation has carried our monitoring and verification visits to 84 communities in 28 states that have attained the status,’’ he said.
Bassey said the monitoring and verification exercise revealed that CLTS had been adopted in 25 states out of the 28 states visited and was contributing greatly to scaling up building of latrines in the rural areas.
He said there were a lot of successes on CLTS implementation which could help further improve the situation, but were not being captured.
“There are variations in the type of CLTS being implemented across the country and a big gap between triggered communities and the number that have achieved ODF,’’ Bassey said.
He said sanitation should be treated as a priority in its own right and not as an add-on to more attractive water supply programmes.
“CLTS is being adopted as one of the sustainable approaches to attain the MDGs within the sanitation sub-sector.
“An annual national roundtable on CLTS has been instituted and Katsina state is expected to host in 2011,’’ he added.
Source: People’s Daily, 10 November 2010