BY JIDAUNA DARING
Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly (PLHA), Rtd. Hon. Ayuba Abok has reaffirmed the 9 Assembly’s readiness to support Nigeria and Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) Civil Society’s Organizations (CSOs) that were working towards providing safe drinking water and sanitation to the citizens of the state.
Rtd. Hon. Abok stated this while playing host to NEWSAN and other CSOs on an advocacy visit to him in his office at the Assembly’s Media Centre Jos, last Thursday.
He appreciated the NEWSAN and other CSOs for the visit which he said was apt, saying that water is very essential to human life and assured them that they would join them in the campaign “Keep your Promises Campaign”.
He said that clean water if provided to the people would reduce the case of water bone diseases within the environment, adding that the issue of budget raised would be given the desired attention when the Ministry for Water Resources and Energy brings their budget for 2020 defense to the House.
Earlier in his remarks, Project Officer EU Technical Assistance to CSOs project Plateau State, Mr. Jephtha Daleng said EU-TAC to CSOs project is a project being implemented by WaterAid Nigeria and Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) which was to build the capacity of CSOs to drive the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) governance in Plateau State through strategic engagement with the WASH institutions in the State.
Mr. Daleng said that Plateau State Budget for the Ministries, Department and Agencies for 2020 would soon be presented to the State House of Assembly for passage of which they would conduct public hearing, adding that NEWSAN has notice the decline Budgetary allocation to the WASH institutions such as the Ministries for Water Resource and Energy, Plateau State Water Board and the Plateau State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (PRUWASSA).
He told the speaker that the other key thing was the non released of the allocation to the MDAs to function saying that the core reason for the advocacy was to use the state the legislative powers to influence WASH budget and as well as provide over side function to ensure that release were made and spending are carried out as planned.
“We are in your office to say congratulation again and to as well remind you of the promises made. We will like to collaborate with you where necessary to see that Plateau is moved forward in the area of water and sanitation”.
Mr. Daleng also appealed that a reasonable percentage of their constituency project be channeled to Water and Sanitation and also advocated the need to provide regular feedback to their constituency through continued engagement hall meetings with their constituents as well as furnish them with vital information on projects, budget and release for projects in their communities.
He maintained that Plateau State has rated 2nd in Nigeria practicing Open Defecation after Kogi State and the government was proposing 2023 for the state to be ODF and that cannot be achieved without the support of the legislators in prioritizing Water and Sanitation, adding that open defecation was causing a lot of health, environmental and economic challenge to the people of the state.
“Society for Water and Sanitation has slated a campaign launch called Keep your Promises Campaign for October 17th, 2019 at Crest Hotel and we are seeking your participation as we consider this very important to us and the state at large”.
He added that the campaign launch would put Plateau State in a better position to attract donors funding in the WASH sector, especially in line with the statement of the Governor, Simon Bako Lalong in New York last week that the State needs about 27 Billion naira to address the challenges in the Wash sector this, campaign launch would create a sense of responsibility from all stakeholders in the sector to prioritize the sector.