On December 3, 2019, the Rural Water-Waste Management, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria and Water Aid, Nigeria organized a one-day workshop on Safely Managed Sanitation in non-sewered areas in Nigeria. The event was held at the office of Federal Ministry of Environment, Abuja, Nigeria.
The workshop was preceded by the release of CSE’s report - on ‘Nigeria: Improving the state of sanitation’ in the inaugural session where CSE team, Charles K Ikeah, Director, Pollution Control and Environment Health, Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria and ChiChi Aniagolu Okoye, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, and were present. The report talked about recommendations on how Nigeria can move towards safe sanitation and highlights the practice of open defecation in Nigeria and its impact on economy, health and environment. It is evident from the report that economically backward population are the worst affected. The report gives a set of recommendation over the appropriate toilet technology, management strategies for wastewater and fecal sludge and effective guidelines and bylaws in the Nigerian context. The recommendations were well received.
Post release of the report, Okea Rita, Head, Environment Health and Sanitation Division set up the agenda for focused discussion around sanitation. CSE’s presentation discussed about the gaps in sanitation sectors in Nigeria and case studies that can be replicated in the country. Water Aid, Nigeria presented their existing projects in the country.
Around 38 participants attended the meeting, of this, 80 per cent were from the government departments - working on water, sanitation and health sectors. The Federal Ministry of Environment has identified a village - Kwali in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria to implement safe sanitation practices. Post lunch, all the relevant stakeholders were taken to the village to get an understanding of the existing state of water and sanitation. An interaction with the communities was arranged for better understanding of this.
As a next step, CSE will work closely with the Federal Ministry of Environment, to help the country attain a state of safe sanitation.
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By: Sumita Sengupta
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