By Charly Agwam
A coalition of civil society organisations in Bauchi State has said that the state recorded a total of 39,795 cases of Cholera outbreak between 2010 and 2018 as 3.9 million people lack access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
The Chairman, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in the state, Sodaigi Chindo, made this known Thursday during a press conference in commemoration of the 2020 Global Handwashing Day with theme: ‘Driving political will to end cholera project in Bauchi’ which was organised in Bauchi by Women Development Association for Self Sustenance, WODASS, with support from WaterAid.
He lamented that Nigeria accounts for a large proportion of the cholera burden in Sub-Saharan 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 great percentage of households access water wells and water vendors which are vulnerable to contamination, only 15% of households treat their water before drinking, while 84.7% do not carry out any form of treatment. (Also) 41.8% of households depend on wells, 42.5% have access to pipe-borne water, 13.6% have access to boreholes, while 4.0% 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 within 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.
“About 71.7% of the state population do not have handwashing facilities with soap, and 77% of the population use traditional pit toilets, 13.5% use poor flush, 3.6% use water closet, 3.4 don’t use toilets while 0.75% use ventilated improved pit toilets,” he said.
He added that ending cholera and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Bauchi State requires a multifaceted approach which includes improved political will and proactive government action, improved surveillance, water and sanitation interventions, hygiene promotion and social mobilisation.