Zamfara agency constructs 35 boreholes in cholera affected communities

By Tosin Kolade
Zamfara, Feb. 7, 2019 (NNN) Alhaji Sani Yaro, the Programme Manager, Zamfara Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), says no fewer than 35 hand pump boreholes have been constructed in cholera affected communities in the state.



Zamfara agency constructs 35 boreholes in cholera affected communities

By Tosin Kolade
Zamfara, Feb. 7, 2019 (NNN) Alhaji Sani Yaro, the Programme Manager, Zamfara Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), says no fewer than 35 hand pump boreholes have been constructed in cholera affected communities in the state.

Yaro told the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on sidelines of a WASH in Emergency Working Group Monitoring and Assessment visit on cholera to the state on Thursday.

He said that with support from development partners, latrines had been constructed in schools and health facilities for communities to stop open defecation practice and encourage Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions.

According to him, open defecation is a major factor predisposing communities to preventable diseases and deaths, saying this became necessary to forestall further spread of cholera and other preventable diseases.

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“We also have WASH Emergency interventions with the support of donors; UNICEF and DFID, in 2018, precisely in December, we were given approval to construct 35 new hand-pump boreholes in cholera affected communities, and at the same time, 80 broken down hand pump boreholes were rehabilitated through this support, as well as five solar-motorised boreholes.

“We are establishing and training WASH committees in all these cholera affected communities, and we are implementing this project in six LGAs in the state, they are the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) selected LGAs, namely; Birnin-Magaji, Talata Mafara, Bakura, Tsafe, Shinkafi and Maru, like last year, we have intervened in 100 schools, we provided boreholes and sanitation facilities as well as 50 health facilities.’’

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He noted that the agency was partnering with UNICEF and the Department for International Development to see that Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Intervention was evident in the state.

He said that the agency had set up an Emergency Operations Centre in partnership with the State Emergency Management Agency to provide information and response to humanitarian needs of Internally Displaced Persons.

“We are partnering with the state Emergency Management Agency, anytime there are IDPs in the state, they quickly intimate us, we carry out hygiene promotion, we also do latrines, there are some smart toilets introduced through sanitation marketing, which are very easy to construct, in a day, you can construct up to 10 toilets.

“My state is ready to pay its counterpart funding, but we want the Federal Government to consider the state, following the state having the highest cholera cases, it will be good for donors coming through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to consider the state in its selection, so that we will further collaborate effectively and eradicate those diseases.’’

He listed challenges of poor funds, inadequate resources to construct toilets, saying the state has trained WASH committees in the cholera affected communities, to pass the message of Nhygiene forward.

He said that rehabilitation of 80 hand pump boreholes and five boreholes had been done to help in scaling up interventions to meet the sanitation and hygiene needs of the communities.

The programme manager said that the agency had also carried out social mobilisation and awareness by triggering 105 communities on community led total sanitation for people to end open defecation practice.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that the WASH in Emergency Working Group was established in 2012 when the country experienced serious devastating flood that affected 85milion people from 14 states.

The group has since remained active, especially in the North-East where IDPs exist and have responded immediately to outbreaks.

The group membership cuts across WASH sector players from Institutions, Development Partners, International and Local NGOs, CSOs responding to WASH issues in the North East, with UNICEF as its co-lead. (NNN)

Edited by Grace Yussuf

General news

Ex-governor Yari administration diverted N10.8bn for university project – Commissioner 



The Zamfara Government has accused the administration of former governor Abdulaziz Yari of diverting N10.8 billion set aside for the state university project.

The State Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Rabiu Garba, made the accusation at a press conference in Gusau on Tuesday.

However, former commissioner of finance under Yari’s administration, Alhaji dismissed the allegation as politically motivated.

Garba said “based on the records available to us, the past administration in the state had diverted the sum of N10.8 billion from the N37 billion refunded to the state by the federal government for the construction of 14 federal roads.

“We learned that in May 2019, N10.8 billion was transferred to the University’s Projects Account by the past administration in the name of construction of State University.

“The amount was transferred in two tranches, that is N5 billion each, and subsequently N850 million was also transferred to same account on 9th May 2019.

“But instead that the amount transferred to be used for the said project, the money was diverted to other issues that have nothing to do with the university project”, he explained.

Garba dismissed claims that the present administration led by Governor Bello Matawalle is not interested in the completion of the university located in Talata-Mafara.

According to him, those making the claim were not aware that part of the fund for the project was diverted by the past administration.

On whether the state government would continue with the project, Garba said that only the State Executive Council can decide on that.

Reacting, the former Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Mukhtar Idris denied the allegation.

Idris said the past administration had initiated a Special Account for the State University Project.

He said that projects were executed at the site of the university with part of the money, while a balance was left in the project account.

“Out of the money claimed by the current commissioner of finance, Rabiu Garba about N4 billion was left in the account and they are part of the money inherited by the present administration.

“Let the present administration explain the multibillion naira capital projects executed in the university, Talata-Mafara before going to the media for unclarified claims,” he added.

Idris urged the commissioner to always verify issues before going public.


Edited By: Benson Iziama/Maharazu Ahmed
Source: NAN
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40 coys bid for NEPZA constituency projects



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says a total of 40 companies have expressed interest to execute some of the country’s constituency projects earmarked for 2020 to be midwifed by the authority.

A statement by Mr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications NEPZA on Tuesday in Abuja said the opening of the tender for the projects was conducted via zoom with representatives of companies that submitted their bids in participation.

The projects include empowerment of girls and women on entrepreneurship and skills in Ogoja Iyala/Bekwara,/Obudu/Obanliku in Cross River North and entrepreneurship training/ grant provision for women in Osun East Senatorial District.

It includes training on Construction/Rehabilitation of Roads in Anambra North Senatorial District while the authority’s direct projects include Environmental Audit for Kano Free Trade Zone and Environment Audit for Calabar Free Trade Zone respectively.

In his remarks, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA, assured the participating companies of continued transparency and fairness until the process wasconcluded.

Adesugba, who also doubled as the chairman of the event, said NEPZA had always conducted its bidding process in line with the procurement rules, adding that such consistent positive posture had won the authority some laurels.

“This is the first time the authority is conducting this exercise via zoom and we all know why this is so.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reduce physical contact as much as possible. But let me assure you that the process will remain transparent and fair.

“The opening of expression of interest kicks off this very important exercise that would see us engaging the most qualified companies to handle the projects that we had advertised.

“Those that have expressed interest would have the opportunity to ask questions from this moment until the final day when winners would be announced.

“Be rest assured that we would be ready to provide answers to your questions,’’ the NEPZA boss said.

Meanwhile, there will opening of tender for projects on the: Provision of Learning Materials including Science Equipment and Text books to various schools in Cross River North in October 12.

Opening of tender for Provision of Computer Set/Printers and Backups in various Schools/Purchase of Laptops and Training of Youth on Repairs in Cross River North, and Supply of Empowerment Materials for Youth and Women in Zamfara West Senatorial District will also hold in October 12.

The event was witnessed by external observers which included the Bureau of Public Procurement and a number of non-state actors.

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FG committed to proactive partnership on women, girls’ protection – Minister



The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to collaborating with various organisations in enhancing the advancement of girls and women’s rights.

This, she said, was to ensure the development of the girl-child and women and enhance their contributions to the socio-economic advancement of the country.

Tallen, represented by Mrs Adediji Bukda, a Principal Community Development Officer in the ministry, stated this at a three-day Spotlight Initiative stakeholders’ zonal workshop in Sokoto on Tuesday.

She said that the ministry would fashion out different strategies and modalities towards ensuring gender equality and protection of the girl-child and women’s rights at all levels.

The minister explained that the policies were geared towards ensuring justice, equality and development processes, noting that despite the successes recorded so far, more efforts were needed in tackling the issues.

While commending state governments for their efforts in ensuring women development, the minister enjoined stakeholders to continue to promote active engagements in order to achieve the desired impacts.

She commended UNFPA for its supports to organisations, especially at the grassroots, in promoting active engagements that would strengthen women’s health and associated activities in the country.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Judith Ononoso, a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Health, said that community groups and government departments had greater roles to play in promoting girls and women’s rights in the society.

Ononoso underscored the importance of joint partnerships among stakeholders in correcting the anomalies associated with cultural and religious norms violating girls and women’s rights.

The UNFPA Project Support Officer on Spotlight Initiative Project in Sokoto State, Mr Umar Idris, said that the effort was to ensure that stakeholders contributed in tacking all forms of violence against girls and women.

Idris said that the project showcased happenings in the communities in terms of girls and women, aimed at broadening their knowledge and providing ways of tackling them.

According to him, the issues comprised of School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV), Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Stop Violence Against Girls in School (SVAGS), Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), Harmful Practices (HP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

He added that the UNFPA had partnered government departments, community groups, religious-based organisations and others on the project, stressing that Sokoto State had also recorded remarkable achievements in this regard.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a resource person, Mrs Jumoke Olanrewaju, presented findings from communication needs assessment on drivers and sources of rising cases of gender-based violence in Sokoto and Adamawa states.

Olanrewaju dwelled on perceptions, religious and cultural norms affecting women development as well as factators mitigating against the protection of girls and women’s rights.

According to her, ignorance, poverty, improper parenting and care are among the factors resulting in teenage pregnancies as well as infidelity among couples.

NAN reports that participants were drawn from Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara states, while Mrs Fatima Shehu from the Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) facilitated the programme.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq
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COVID-19: NCDC says Nigeria not testing adequately



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that though the country has recorded a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases, it was not yet celebration time as Nigeria has not tested adequately and therefore risks a resurgence.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC, said this at a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

Ihekweazu said that the country recorded a 36 per cent decline nationally in August, compared to July, while the positivity ratio dropped from 20 per cent in June to 7 per cent in July.

“You might think that that is good news and we should be celebrating; unfortunately, we cannot celebrate this until we test sufficient numbers in every state in the country.

“One critical issue is the number of tests being done and yes the number of tests have actually declined, but another important indicator that we look at is the test positivity ratio nationally,’’ he said.

According to him, the only states that can confidently celebrate a decline in cases are Lagos and Kano, as well as the FCT, because they have tested high numbers, but the same cannot be said at the National level because some states are not testing.

He decried that the NCDC could not make any interpretation on the data in Taraba Adamawa, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara,  Jigawa and Yobe States.

“We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.

“So we have to work together, in summary; it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not, some interpretation can be made in Lagos, FCT, because they are testing enough, but we can’t do this on a national level.’’

The NCDC boss noted that countries that seem to have seen a decline were seeing a resurgence of cases.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NCDC and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) have launched COVID-19 household Sero-prevalence surveys in selected states in Nigeria, to better understand the burden of the virus in the country.

The surveillance will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos States.

Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Source: NAN
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