The Jigawa State government says it spent more than than N160 million in its fight against open defecation in 2021.
“Over N160 million have been committed to the war against open defecation in the state,” Labaran Adamu, the managing director, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) said.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mr Adamu said the funds were spent on sensitisation activities to promote behavioural change to curb open defecation in the state.
“As you are aware, Jigawa has been involved in the efforts to prohibit open defecation throughout the state.
According to him, the amount was expended to mobilise and encourage change in community perceptions regarding use of latrines, especially in households without access to latrines.
“The amount was spent on consultants who are experts in mobilising local communities to make sure that all households have constructed a latrine with cover and hand washing facilities.”
Mr Adamu spoke on the background of the government drive to become the first state to be certified Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the country.
“A contract has been awarded to supply latrine’s cover and hand washing facilities in all the households in our rural communities,” he said.
He said it was not an easy task for the agency and others to successfully convince the rural dwellers to embrace the practice of using latrine in their homes.
“Most of the local councils have enacted bylaws, however, enforcement is the problem, as they are reluctant about it.
“If the local councils are enforcing the law, this bad attitude of open defecation in rural communities will be addressed,” he said.
He also noted that the state government was working on a bill to enforce compliance with the law against open defecation.
Mr Adamu said that 18 of the 27 Local Government Areas had achieved ODF status, adding that proactive measures were necessary to ensure total eradication of the menace.