UNICEF laments health impact of poor faecal sludge disposal practices

It has been lamented that, poor practices around faecal sludge disposal has presented a devastating health impact on the people especially children and women.

The lamentation was expressed in a remarks presented by the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Dr. Tushar Rane at the Strategy Development Workshop on Climate-Resilient Faecal Sludge Management and Operative Guidelines for Bauchi State held on Tuesday at the Chartwell Hotels and Suites, Bauchi.

The Chief of UNICEF Field Office expressed confidence that the strategy document that will be developed from the workshop will present approaches for the service delivery and the enabling environment needed to implement and regulate safe FSM in the state. 

Tushar Rane added that It will also include protocols for FSM, as well as technical guidelines, standard operating procedures, monitoring and evaluation framework and the estimated investments needed for FSM.

He further stated that the outcome of the workshop is envisaged to serve as the operational guidelines for all the service providers and relevant stakeholders within the faecal sludge management value chain (containment, emptying, transport, treatment, safe reuse, or disposal).

To achieve the above outcome, he called on the Bauchi state government to initiate a deliberate policy that will ensure the effective management of faecal sludge.

He assured that UNICEF, with the generous support of BMGF will continue to work closely with the Bauchi State Government and other development partners to encourage safe and environment-friendly faecal sludge management.

This, he said, will further contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

According to him, “it is worthy of note that Bauchi is a leading state in the implementation of WASH related interventions in Nigeria especially in Faecal Sludge Management.”

He stressed that, “Presently, Bauchi state has eight LGAs that have attained LGA-Wide Open Defecation Free (ODF) status with Katagum being the latest. Three others are close to achieving similar feat, and requiring the government’s support before the end of 2024.”

He also stated that, “It is hoped that the implementation of the guidelines will ease the process of state-wide ODF attainment and sustenance.”

While appreciating the efforts of the state government and partners, “I assure you of UNICEF’s continued collaboration with the government; development partners; non-governmental organizations; and communities, to ensure the fulfillment of the rights of children and women in Bauchi State, and in Nigeria,” Tushar Rane stated further.

He then explained that the occasion was to develop Climate-Resilient Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Strategy and Operative Guidelines for Bauchi State organized by the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) and the Bauchi State Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) with the generous support of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

He added that the gathering brought together experts to define effective approaches for faecal sludge evacuation to promote clean environment for healthy living in Bauchi State.

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