From Tom Garba, Yola
The Adamawa State government, in conjunction with the European Union, EU has organised a two-day capacity building workshop to ensure implementation of sanitation reforms for civil society organizations and media practitioners in the state.
Declaring the workshop open on Friday in Yola, the state capital, Commissioner for Water Resources, Julius Kaddala, described the workshop as a critical stakeholders meeting which was expected to be valuable not only in accelerating safe sanitation coverage in the state but increase the technical capacity of various organisations on sanitation issues.
Kaddala stated that the capacity training programme was a continuation of their resolve to empower all stakeholders groups with the skills and knowledge to drive sanitation campaign in the state.
He said: “We deliberately brought the media non-governmental organization and two critical non-state actors to this workshop in view of their strategic roles and responsibilities.
“While the media is regarded as the fourth estate of the realm with a constitutional responsibility of upholding the accountability of the government to the people, the non-governmental organizations are widely known for having skills and expertise in community mobilization.
“The two groups are therefore strategic partners in our collective effort to ensure access to safe sanitation services in the state”, he stressed.
Commending the EU water supply and sanitation sector programme phase III for facilitating the workshop, Kaddala noted that access to safe sanitation services in the state was still a huge challenge caused by a myriad of factors including poor hygiene habits, poor maintenance culture, dilapidated sanitation infrastructure and near zero budgeting for water related sanitation.
In his keynote address, the representative of the EU and institutional policy expert, Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme WSSSRP- phase III, Mr. Babatope Babalobi said the choice of Yola for the workshop was to create flat form for the need for reforms review in the sanitation section by stakeholders.
Babalobi stressed the need and importance of the state actors, civil society organizations and the media practitioners in the state to as a matter of public importance established a solid synergy between the three bodies so that sanitation reforms would be implemented for the benefit of all.
However the programme manager, small towns’ water supply and sanitation agency in the state Ministry of Water Resources, Shuaibu Suleiman, lamented that most of the government policies especially in the water sector were non-existent.
Sulaiman therefore call on stakeholders to as a matter of urgency do something to address the challenges militating against the water sector in the state.
From Tom Garba, Yola