By Stanley Onyekwere
In clear demonstration of support for reinvigorated effort towards ending open defecation, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has assured that the FCT Administration will partner effectively with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to put an end to the menace in the nation’s capital.
Bello gave the assurance yesterday when he received a delegation from the Ministry of Water Resources led by its Minister, Engr. Sulaiman H. Adamu, on an advocacy visit to end open defecation in the country.
In a statement signed by FCTA’s Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, the Minister, who assured his Water Resources counterpart that FCTA will give all the necessary support to ensure that the goal of completely eradicating open defecation in the country is achieved, said already FCTA was partnering with the private sector for solar powered public toilets in the FCT.
The Minister disclosed that FCTA has six major water tanks under construction to aid in the distribution of water to newly opened districts in the Territory, explaining that water was not a problem in the FCT as the Lower Usuma Dam was providing adequate water to service the Capital city.
“In the FCT, raw water supply is not the real issue. As you know, we have enough water at the Lower Usuma Dam which is annually supplemented by the basin transfer from the Gurara dam under your Ministry. And we have the water treatment plants which is adequate for the needs of the Capital city for a reasonable enough period of time to come.
“The main challenge is being able to reticulate and distribute the water to other newer phases of the FCT and I am pleased to say that we have a system of about six major water tanks under construction now and we are introducing projects that would bring in pumping stations to be able to supplement the water pressure,” Bello stressed.
The statement adds: “As a demonstration of the commitment of FCTA to the complete eradication of open defecation, Malam Bello said he has directed that the Honourable Minister of State of the FCT, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu coordinates activities for the success of the project in the FCT and ensure that FCT becomes a model worthy of emulation.”
Earlier, the Minister of Water Resources explained that the visit was to kick- start the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign aimed at making Nigeria open-defecation-free by 2025.
He therefore stressed the need to mobilize for an increase in sanitation budget line to ensure that the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan of the Federal Government, to improve the sector, was achieved.
He however called on the FCT Minister to declare a state of emergency on open defecation in the FCT.