Ilorin — Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq yesterday flagged off the 'Clean Kwara' Campaign in commemoration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)'s fifth anniversary as part of the administration's commitment to end open defecation and promote good hygiene in the state.
"This flag-off coincides with the 5th anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A key part of the SDGs, which is Goal 6, is general access to safe and affordable drinking water and access to adequate and equitable sanitation, hygiene for all, and end open defecation by 2030," AbdulRazaq said during the event held in Ilorin, the state capital.
The governor said inadequate access to quality water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services could negatively impact health, in addition to having huge socioeconomic consequences on any society and encouraged authorities at the local government level to also commit to these protocols.
"We saw this huge gap when we came in and that explains why we prioritised provision of water. That has led to the rehabilitation of several water works that had long collapsed. Today, we have made considerable progress," he said, calling for partnership with the federal government and various development bodies to support the state.
Also speaking, he Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, identified Kwara as one of the states with highest number of open defecation practice in Nigeria - which is about 64% while only 14% of the population have access to basic sanitation services.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who was represented by Dr. Ify Nnamchi-Ukaegbu, disclosed that the current statistics by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF's Joint Monitoring Report show that one in every four Nigerians -- about 47 million people -- practices open defecation and that fewer than half of households in Nigeria have their own toilets.
"I am confident that with this flag off ceremony, Kwara State Government under the able leadership of His Excellency is on the right track towards the attainment of SDG-6. I therefore commend your tireless efforts and commitment at ensuring clean water and sanitation being used by all in Kwara State on or before 2030. My office will continue to support sub-national governments in ensuring the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria," she said.
"Indeed, it is exactly five years since President Muhammadu Buhari joined the world leaders to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 SDGs (169 targets and 230 key performance indicators), envision a present and a future that is economically sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally resilient with the principle of "leave no one behind."
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Hajia Fatimah Lawal noted that the government prioritised provision of water which led to the rehabilitation of several water works that had long collapsed across the state.