Not too long ago, the Vice President, together with two eminent chiefs, launched the National Sanitation Day. Following that, a cleanup exercise is to be held simultaneously nationwide from 6:00 am to 9:00 am; every first Saturday of the month is to help address the country’s sanitation challenges.
Speaking on ‘Clean Communities’, JoyNews MultiTV’s sanitation campaign program, Mr. Charles Narchinab, Country Policy Manager for Water and Sanitation for Africa, commended the government for the initiative.
However, he hoped it does not remain one of the usual talks but one backed by actions. ‘’We used to have a sanitation week. What has become of it, only God knows,’’ he said with despair.
He cited similar projects that were piloted but were not successful, ‘’We used to have the National Sanitation Conference (NASCON), where stakeholders met and deliberated on sanitation issues and on what to do to improve sanitation in the country. In the last few years it has never happened.’’
He continued by saying that the National Sanitation day is a laudable initiative, but prayed that it is sustained.
Talking about funding, he said the country should not depend on external donors to develop the project, and advised that the project should be designed and funded with available internal funds. Should funds be donated, he said, they can be added to the effort.
He also observed that working institutions are key to the sustainability of the project, urging, “Let’s make sure that the required education goes on; public education, jingles playing on the various national television stations, one on one education.’’
With regards to punishment for offenders, every district should have a sanitation court that will apply sanctions and get people to change their behaviours towards sanitation.
He said he hoped the government would not pay lip service to funding the policies. “Will government deliberately put in its budget statement that they are committing this amount of funds to the National Sanitation Day and sanitation in general?’’
Mr. Charles Narchinab recommended targets should be set for state agencies and those who fail to meet their targets should be sanctioned.
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