Tuesday, December 24,2019
The leadership of a leading Non-Governmental Organization on accountability in Africa, Connected Development (CODE), have thrown its weight behind other organization presently showering encomiums on the Taraba state government for signing into law the state Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Bill.
Led by it Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, the group who were visibly elated by the development, said the State House of Assembly, has proven itself as the people’s parliament by rebuilding residents’ trust in government institutions to deliver on improved public services. Lawal who made this known yesterday in a chat with media practioners in Jalingo, said by signing the bill into law indicates the state government readiness to provide access to adequate safe water and basic sanitation that will promote the health, dignity, economic well-being and improved livelihood for residents.
According to him “Now that the bill has been passed to law, we hope to see the commitment of relevant agencies such as the State Ministry of Water Resources, and the Taraba Water and Sewerage Corporation (TAWASCO), towards implementation.”
“While we commend Governor Darius Ishaka, ” whom as stated by him ” once won the Water Man of the year, for this great milestone, we urge that he expedites action on his promise of enhanced water rights for all residents. It is important for us to intensify civic advocacy and hold the State Government accountable in its responsibility to implement the State WASH policies as stated in the law.
The WASH Law , as made known in by him, positions Taraba State on the path to harnessing investments that will meet the WASH needs of the people. Although, there are thorny issues that the Law seeks to address, the adoption of best practices on potable water and sanitation that meets the needs of Taraba residents tops the list, CODE stated.
It could be recall that CODE, with the support of the USAID Effective Water Sanitation and Hygiene (E-WASH) Services Program, had earlier engaged with the Taraba policy makers in November, urging that they erase bottlenecks and accelerate the processes for ensuring the WASH bill was signed to Law. Also aligning her weight to that of Lawal, the CODE’s Lead on the USAID-EWASH project, Ijeoma Oforka, applauded the State Community-Based Organisations, State Media Organizations, the WASH Customer Forums and other WASH groups in the State for pressuring the government and holding them accountable for its promise to the people, stating that ” This shows the power of a collective voice to accelerate social change.” CODE urges both Delta and Niger states where the civil society is also advocating for improved urban WASH services, to borrow leaves from Taraba to minimise the effect of WASH issues on public health stressing that “Delta and Niger States must fast-track actions on implementing policies that will ensure the consistent provision of clean and safe water and improve sanitation facilities for its residents.” The organization reiterated its determinations to work tirelessly round the clock in order to effectively track the implementation of the WASH Law in Taraba stating that it is the long-term impact of a structured WASH system is the eradication of open defecation, the provision of WASH facilities in schools and strategic public spaces, the reduction of water-borne diseases, among other remarkable effects.