(R-L: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Christiana Asonibare; House of Assembly Member, Representing Oke-Ero, Hon. Balogun Joseph; Representative of the Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Usman Yunusa Lade, and others during the flag-off ceremony.)

The Kwara State Government has taken the campaign against open defecation to the grassroots level with a view to eradicating it across the state.

The State Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi led the campaign at the official flag-off of stakeholders engagement meeting, organised by the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Ilorin, held at  the Headquarters of Oke-Ero Local Government, Iloffa. 

The Deputy Governor, who was represented at the ceremony by the Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Usman Yunusa Lade appealed to traditional rulers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to join hands with the state government to put an end to open defecation in the state.

Mr. Alabi specifically called on the stakeholders to join hands with government on this campaign against open defecation, pointing out that the state government cannot do it all alone.

"Open defecation is not just a matter of sanitation; it's a matter of public health, dignity, and human rights. It is a challenge that we must confront headlong. In our pursuit of a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous Kwara State, this stakeholders engagement meeting is a pivotal step forward", Alabi stated.

He assured the public of the state government resolve to provide the necessary resources, support, and policies to make this enviable vision a reality.

Speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Christiana Asonibare commended the organisers of the programme for creating an enabling environment to engage the critical stakeholders on the best possible ways to sensitize the public.

Mrs. Asonibare implored the traditional rulers, community leaders, and other major stakeholders, especially the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) Chairmen of Local Government Councils to help enlighten the grassroots people in order to create awareness for its success.

Earlier in his welcome address, the TIC Chairman of Oke-Ero7 Local Government, 
Engr. Gbenga Victor Yusuf said that 48 million Nigerians still practice open defecation with 95 million others without access to basic sanitation services and facilities in the country.

Mr. Yusuf explained that Kwara State ranked as one of the five states with a high rate of open defecation status, adding that the state government is prepared to eradicate it.

He promised to organise similar campaign programme for the people of the local government as a means of reaching out to the grassroots.

Also speaking, the General Manager of RUWASSA, Mr. Olorunfemi Oladipo Adewumi described open defecation as a serious public health issue, not only in our state but across the entire globe.

Mr. Adewumi emphasized that the present administration of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has demonstrated the state's commitment to eradicate open defecation and provide a safe and clean water supply.

Water, according to him, is a fundamental human right and its provision a core mandate of the present administration, promising to carry the campaign to other parts of the state for people to be more sensitized.

Mallam Adamu M. Saidu
Press Secretary
Ministry of Water Resources


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