By Stanley Onyekwere
In furtherance to the reinforced advocacy for sustainable action to end open defecation, Directorate of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation otherwise known as FCT RUWASSA is set to coordinate the provision of a borehole and other interventions tailored towards improving access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in Zuba community, of Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja.
The proposed WASH intervention targeted at boosting , would be funded by Cummins West Africa, a private company through WaterAid Nigeria, is expected to be completed within 18 months.
This was disclosed yesterday, during a stakeholders meeting, organised to sensitise and interact with community members, religious, traditional and other leaders on the initiative and get them actively involved and committed to its realisation in their domain.
Speaking at the meeting held at the Palace of the Agora of Zuba, the FCT RUWASSA’s Executive Director, Dr. Muhammed Ali Dan-Hassan, said said the project tagged, “Improving access to WASH facilities in FCT is being implemented in Government Secondary School (GSS) Zuba and other parts of the host community.
Muhammed, who was represented by Head of Department, Community Mobilisation and Hygiene Promotion, Husseini Abdulkadir explains: “We feel that it will be good to involve the community members, religious, traditional and other leaders, so that they can help strengthen the sustainability of these facilities to be provided.
“We are the coordinating agency for the supervision and handing over of the facilities to the end users, Cummins are the donors through WaterAid.
“The period of the intervention programme will be at least 18 months, and already the fund is with the WaterAid.”
WASH Manager, WaterAid Nigeria, Idowu Adebayo, reiterated its commitment to continue to support state (FCTA) and local governments to ensure that WASH is made a priority within communities, by ensuring that all the existing government structures are strengthened, to be able to deliver on WASH services.
She said: “WaterAid will continue to support the FCTA, RUWASSA, and other relevant agencies to enhance WASH service delivery as part of WaterAid’s committment to reach everyone everywhere.”
Similarly, representative of Cummins West Africa, Andrew Adiga, noted that part of the organisation’s contribution to the project is to make sure that the water that the people really need is actualise in the community.
He adds: “We had already put our heads together to make sure that everything is in order.”
In his remarks, Sarkin Pada of Zuba Chiefdom, Alh. Mohammed Murtala, who represented the Agora of Zuba, while expressing appreciation of his people to RUWASSA and the donors for the initiative, opined when executed fully, it will no doubt impact positive on their school children and other members of the community.
According to him, the provision of the WASH project at the GSS Zuba, with over 4,000 pupils and students, is a very good intervention, as it would help foster proper hygienic culture among them.
He also assured that the people will ensure the proper maintenance of the project, given that the main problem facing them in the community remained paucity of water supply.
“ All the boreholes in Zuba are not working, so if they will bring water to us, it help improve our wellbeing, because water is life”, the monarch stressed.
Also, Rev. Thomas Bako of ECWA church, who doubles as Vice chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Zuba, promised to help disseminate the information to churches within the area.
He stressed the need for reorientation of children tailored towards entrenching maintenance culture in the society.
On his part, a student leader in Zuba zone, Washeed Abubakar, urged those handling the intervention project to do their work towards achieving its real objectives.
He also appealed to authorities of the Gwagwalada to take the issues of sanitation serious in Zuba, in order to improve the environment.