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103 Osun Communities Free of Open Defecation – UNICEF



By Segun Ojo,Ilesa

The European Union and United Nations Children Fund said no fewer than 103 rural communities in Osun State are now free from Open Defecation through the implementation of Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Projects in the state.

The Osun state UNICEF WASH Consultant, Olowole Modekai said out of the 304 trigger communities, 50 are also approaching the status of open defecation free.

Modekai said this during a Two Day Workshop on WASH Capacity Building Media Network in Osun held at Timsed Hotel, Ijebu –jesa during the week to engage media practitioners on strategies to promote water and sanitation hygiene in Osun.

According to him, 215 water facilities have been completed out of 259 awarded through the collaboration of state government, Rural and Water Environmental Sanitation  Agency (RUWESA) and EU/UNICEF to ensure equitable access to water supply for 65,500 people in the state especially the rural areas.

He said 2387 improved latrine have been constructed in Osun and 4,800 school children are having equitable  to hygienic water adding that the target of Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform  Programme (WASSSRP) is to ensure that 120,000 people in the state have equitable access to water supply in 2017.

The UNICEF consultant explained that 7,515  are engaging in open defecation but  virtually all houses in the two focal local governments, Ayedaade and Odo-otin where WASH programmes is currently  ongoing have constructed household latrine.

Aslo speaking, Director Sanitation and Health, RUWESA, Moyinioluwa Segun said the state was able to achieve the feet with the commitment of the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola prompt payment of counterpart funds to the partnering international organizations.

Segun who commended Aregbesola for giving priority to healthy living of the people of the state, further explained that Osun government has paid 100 percent of the of the counterpart contribution involved in the WASH despite the deteriorated in the nation’s economy.

He said the involvement of the state government in WASH is in fulfillment of governor Aregbesola Six Points Integral Action Plans to promote healthy living in the state.

Through the WASH and other interventions according to Segun, the 1000 boreholes have been provided in 800 rural and urban communities with the assistance of EU/UNICEF and other partners which have significantly reduced water related diseases and promote sanitation and hygiene in the state.

He added that the agency programme has increased school enrollments, enhance human dignity with the prevention of open defecation and provided opportunities for the remotest rural areas to have access to drinkable water in the state of Osun.

Segun who disclosed that the state has never defaulted its funding obligation which has placed the state ahead neighboring states urged the media practitioners to support the agency and other partnering agency in promoting the culture of sanitation and hygiene in the state.

Enumerating some of the benefits of WASH intervention programme, Segun said that the programme has drastically reduced feacoral diseases prevalence just as it has helped in the reduction of poverty that may likely to ensure through the outbreak of diseases.

According to EU/UNICEF reports, 663 Million people do not have access to clean water and 2. 4 Billion lack access to improved sanitation, 946 Million defecate openly while 9 out of 10 people in rural areas are defecating openly.

The workshop was intended to establish media network and partnership in communicating water sanitation and hygiene to the publics.