The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in Bauchi State has explained that the state has recorded a total of 39,795 cases of cholera outbreak between 2010-2018 with 3.9 million people lacking access to good water, sanitation, and hygiene services in the state.
The Chairman of the Coalition, Malam Chindo Sodangi stated this on Thursday during a press conference in commemoration of the 2020 Global Hand Washing Day at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) in Bauchi.
He said the commemoration of the day with the theme “Driving political will to end cholera project in Bauchi,” organised by Women Development Association for Self-Sustenance (WODASS) with support from Water Aid, came at the right time in the right direction.
Sodangi said that cholera remains a threat to public health with 1.3-4.0 million cases and 24,000-143,000 death recorded every year globally, adding that Nigeria accounts for a large proportion of the cholera burden in Sub-Sahara Africa as the disease is prevalent and seasonal, occurring mostly during the rainy season and often in areas that lack clean water and sanitation.
“Despite the fact that a great percentage of households access water wells and water vendors which are vulnerable to contamination, only 15 pre cent of households treat their water before drinking while 84.7 pre cent do not carry out any form of treatment. 41.8 pre cent of households depend on wells, 42.5 pre cent have access to pipe-borne water, 13.6 pre cent have access to boreholes while 4.0 pre cent get their water from water vendors.”
“The recurrent outbreak of cholera in Bauchi State is largely attributed to indiscriminate waste (solid and liquid) disposal, inadequate clean water supply with Bauchi metropolis and its environs, and poor hygiene practices.
“Provision of safe water and sanitation among other things is critical to controlling the transmission of cholera, ending the epidemic and other waterborne diseases,” he said
Sodangi said that about 71.7 pre cent of the state population do not have handwashing facilities with soap, adding that 77 pre cent of the population uses traditional pit toilets, 13.5 per cent uses poor flush, 3.6 pre cent uses water closet, 3.4 don’t use toilets whole 0.75 pre cent uses ventilated improved pit toilets.
The Chairman said ending cholera and preventing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bauchi State requires a multifaceted approach, pointing out the need for improved political will and proactive government action, bleeding of surveillance, water and sanitation interventions, hygiene promotion and social mobilisation and treatment use.
In order to ensure cholera and COVID-19 free state, the Chairman urged the state government to ensure that sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions are provided in communities and LGAs with poor access to WASH services, scale up the clean family campaign to all LGAs across the three senatorial zones of the state, domesticate the national WASH COVID-19 guidelines and implement the revised WASH policy and state action plan amongst others.