SHAWN Has Improved Our Health Status – Kaduna Communities

SHAWN Has Improved Our Health Status – Kaduna Communities
The introduction and subsequent implementation of the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water In Nigeria (SHAWN) a Department For International Development (DFID‎) sponsored project through the United Nations Education Funds (UNICEF) in collaboration with Kaduna State government has greatly improved our health condition, Kaduna communities have testified.
Communities in Kachia local government area of Kaduna State visited by our correspondent for monitoring of the implementation shows success stories of the exercise.
According to the benefiting communities, prior to the intervention they share same water from the river ‎with cows thereby consuming un-hygienic water causing them a lot of health hazards.
Six communities from three wards monitored in Kachia have been declared Open Defecation  Free (ODF) through the practice of SHAWN.
In Gidan takwai, Sabon Sarki and Awan wards, six Communities to include Ungwa Rana, Sabon Gida, Ungwa‎ madaki, Ungwa majindadi, Anturu and Gora communities have been declared ODF communities.
Speaking on the provisions, the village head of Ungwa madaki and Ungwan majindadi Mr. Danladi Bako‎ said, ” through the tippy taps now, we wash our hands with the use of soap or Ash after returning from farm or using the toilet because of the provision of boreholes by RUWASSA and UNICEF.
“Before now, we share the same river with cows and we get sick very often with diseases such as typhoid, ulcer, malaria, fever and diarrhoea but with the intervention through SHAWN, there is a drastic reduction of diseases among my subjects and we are grateful to UNICEF and Kaduna State government.
” Our people now have toilets in their houses, we no longer defecate  ‎in the open, we are now healthier, we now spent our money on food instead of the hospital and unlike when we used to drink water infested with cow faeces from the river.”
‎Also speaking, Mama Rhoda Adamu (80 years old) could not hide her joy when she said, “I am now a happy grand  Mother because my children and grandchildren no longer falls sick like before, Mungode, Mungode meaning we are grateful, we are grateful”  she stressed.
Speaking on the project, ‎Chief UNICEF Kaduna Field Office Utpal Moitra said, provision of water is a fundamental right of every human and that basic right is being challenged.
“This is what SHAWN project is trying to provide  but I think we need to be careful because at the end of the day, it is the state that  need to ensure that this basic rights are provided to citizens.
“SHAWN provides the way and example to share with government, work with government to say that this is possible. I think we need to understand SHAWN project from that line.That SHAWN is an example by which some of these basic  rights are fulfilled and delivered and we just need to have patience with the government so that LGAs ad communities within the state have these basic rights.

“So in one hand SHAWN is a project with target but we need to understand why SHAWN came into being from this angle. One is to make government understand that these basic rights are made available to citizens.

“But if communities are aware that every household or individual should have a core sense of hygiene and sanitation by not defecating openly, they should also understand why it’s important to wash hands, why it’s important to drink water from right source and the government needs to provide such facilities to them

“Finally, there should be investment because this investment are fulfilling the basic human rights and SHAWN show that it’s possible. This is why we are proud of SHAWN and what the project achieved. But it’s a good signed of what we can still achieve  within this few years.

“Government has so many policies in water and sanitation and this year the state government  invest heavily  in water and sanitation for example this year they have invested closed to 600 million, last year they invested closed to 200 million which means within two years they invested closed to a 1 billion naira. So I’m very optimistic about the direction we are going so I think I will be more happy if we don’t do SHAWN but do SHAWN kind of things.

“I think what we need to understand is that we need these kind of investment. we should know also that it’s only 50 percent investment the remaining 50 percent comes from the project. So, it would have been two billion naira if Kaduna has to do it alone.

“We will also like to say that awareness and enlightenment is very important in communities for them to understand the important of the project. DFID is an important donor they will want us to meet our target and we also want to meet the target. What we want yo achieve is for the state to take up the responsibility of delivering those various basic rights.
“We need to drive the campaign in kaduna of hand washing. it’s something we need to find a way to do alongside RUWASSA. We need to make it a regular state campaign.”

Source: Health

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