No fewer than 279 communities in Katsina State have been certified free of Open Defecation (ODF).
The certification process was undertaken by the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) project supported by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Alhaji Aminu Dayyabu, the Executive Director, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), disclosed this on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said the communities were from the 11 local government areas participating in SHAWN programme.
Dayyabu added that the local government areas in the programme included Bakori, Ingawa, Dutsin-ma, Sandamu, Mai’adua, Musawa, Faskari, Kaita, Batagarawa, Matazu and Safana.
“Our team of experts went round the 402 communities participating in the ODF programme.
“After a thorough investigation and scrutiny, the teams discovered that on the average, every household in the 279 communities constructed pit latrines with hand washing materials and cover drops.
“The teams also did not record instances of open defecation unlike in the past and that showed that the communities have stopped Open Defecation.”
He noted that the state had so far recorded 68 per cent success in that regard.
Dayyabu revealed that an end to open defecation would reduce water and environment-related diseases in rural communities, which would further reduce child and maternal mortality in the state.
He urged the certified communities to intensify efforts toward maintaining their status to enable the country to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) on water and sanitation.
He explained that the certified communities would be considered first before other communities in the provision of water supply by the agency.
He also urged people in the non participating local government areas to desist from open defecation due to dangers to human health.