FG may with­hold states’ sub­ven­tions over wa­ter poli­cies

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THere are in­di­ca­tions that the sub­ven­tions to some state gov­ern­ments on wa­ter may be with­held by the Fed­eral Govern­ment if they fail to im­ple­ment poli­cies on wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion.

A source at the Fed­eral min­istry of Wa­ter re­sources on Fri­day told

that with­hold­ing their sub­ven­tions might be the only way to get states to com­ply with poli­cies aimed at im­prov­ing ac­cess to clean wa­ter and ad­e­quate san­i­ta­tion.

The source stated that with re­ports of com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases break­ing out in many states across the coun­try, it had be­come ev­i­dent that there had been no com­pli­ance with im­prov­ing ac­cess to clean wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion.

“We still have in­ci­dents of di­ar­rhea and other wa­ter­borne dis­eases from states, which show lack of com­pli­ance. And any state govern­ment that does not key into the ini­tia­tives of the Fed­eral Govern­ment to im­prove wa­ter sup­ply and san­i­ta­tion, its sub­ven­tion will be with­drawn. They will be starved of funds if they refuse to key into the pro­grammes,” the source added.

Pres­i­dent muham­madu buhari on Thurs­day de­clared a state of emer­gency in the na­tion’s wa­ter sup­ply, san­i­ta­tion and hy­giene sec­tor.

The ac­tion fol­lowed the de­ci­sion of the Fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil to de­clare a state of emer­gency in the wa­ter sup­ply, san­i­ta­tion and hy­giene sec­tor, in April this year.

The Pres­i­dent said the dec­la­ra­tion be­came im­per­a­tive to re­duce the high-preva­lence of wa­ter-borne dis­eases in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try, which had caused pre­ventable deaths.

He said govern­ment at all lev­els needed to re­dou­ble ef­forts and work to­wards meet­ing the na­tion’s wa­ter sup­ply and san­i­ta­tion needs.

The Pres­i­dent added, “The Sustainable De­vel­op­ment Goals tar­get­ing 6.1 and 6.2 for WASH are even more de­mand­ing as they re­quire WASH ser­vices to be pro­vided in ad­e­quate quan­tity and quality on premises at af­ford­able prices.

“This can­not be achieved if we con­tinue with ‘a busi­ness as usual’ ap­proach. It is on this premise that I fully en­dorse the de­ci­sion taken at the meet­ing of the Fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil in April this year to de­clare ‘a State of emer­gency on our WASH Sec­tor.”

The Pres­i­dent had also stated that sup­port to state gov­ern­ments would be based on their com­mit­ment to im­ple­ment the WASH ac­tion plan in their re­spec­tive states and to end open defe­ca­tion by 2025.

A min­istry source said com­pli­ance by states had been very low, adding that out of the 21 states that had signed a pro­to­col agree­ment on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Partnership for ex­panded Wa­ter Sup­ply, San­i­ta­tion and Hy­giene, only Kano and ogun states had com­plied.

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