No fewer than 728 lives were lost to cholera outbreaks in 25 states between January and November, UNICEF Chief Officer on Water and Sanitation, Mr. Vinod Alkari, has said.
Alkari said at the third National Round Table Conference on Community-led Sanitation held on Monday in Katsina, that 22,686 others, who were affected by the disease within the same period under review, survived.
He attributed the high prevalence of cholera to poor sanitation in the 25 states. Agency reports have it that the nation loses about N455bn annually to sanitation problems.
Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, said that his administration had spent about N5bn in the last four years to provide clean water for the people.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Jamilu Danmusa, at the conference, the governor stated that the government had also constructed and rehabilitated 2,000 rural water schemes.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, in her speech, enjoined state governments to embark on vigorous campaign for proper sanitation.
She explained that the forum was organised to provide opportunity for stakeholders to rub minds and learn from one another towards achieving the set objective.
According to her, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources will support implementation of community-led sanitation.
A member of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Gyang Dantong, said the Senate was planning a public hearing to work out ways to end the scourge.
Dantong claimed that in Jos, Plateau State, on Monday that the disease was still wreaking havoc in 25 states of the country.
He said, "This (cholera) is a disease that can easily be prevented by maintaining basic hygiene, but it has continued to kill so many people over the years.’’
The senator also added that the destruction by the tropical disease was a major source of concern to the Senate, assuring that the legislature would step up enlightenment campaigns to check the menace.
Copyright, Blaise APLOGAN, 2010,© Bienvenu sur Babilown
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