By Patience Michael, Bauchi
UNICEF has commended the Bauchi State government for releasing N200 million as counterpart funds for the construction of 380 hand pumps fitted boreholes in rural communities in the state.
UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Bauchi, Dr Abdulai Kaikai, gave the commendation in a symposium organised by UNICEF in collaboration with Bauchi Radio Corporation (BRC) with stakeholders in Bauchi to commemorate World Water Day in Bauchi with the theme: “Water and waste water”.
He said that the gesture would sustain the continuation of the implementation of the Sanitation, Health and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) project in the state.
Represented by UNICEF Bauchi Field office Communication for Development Officer, Hajia Hauwa Hassan, he urged the state government to continue to plan for changes in safe water availability and demand in the coming years.
Also, the Managing Director of BRC Hajia Liman Jummai Bello, urged media practitioners to advocate for best policies and practices in terms of domestic and community management of water resources and to use their tools in changing the attitude of the people.
In his adress, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Ghali Abdulhameed, disclosed that the state
government and the DFID through UNICEF under the SHAWN project provided 2,256 Hand Pump
Boreholes and 37 Motorized Boreholes in several rural communities.
Abdulhameed said that the state government and partners had rehabilitated 1,628 Hand Pump Boreholes across the eight SHAWN intervention Local Government Areas in the state.
The commissioner expressed concern that over 40% of people’s drinking water is contaminated with faeces, making them vulnerable to water related diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid.
Stakeholders at the meeting while commending the state government for reviewing the Bauchi State Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Policy, urged it to intencify effort to ensure timely completion of the WASH Policy
Review. They also charged businesses and communities to prevent
contamination and depletion of safe water sources, while at the same time, urging communities to explore ways to diversify water sources and increase their capacity to store water safely in a changing