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FG reactivates water labs to curb cholera

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FG reactivates water labs to curb cholera

Prof. Joseph Utsev, Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, says the ministry has reactivated its laboratories across the six geopolitical zones to curtail further spread of cholera outbreak in Nigeria.

Utsev spoke  on Tuesday at the ongoing 5th Lagos International Water Conference with the theme “Financing Water and Sanitation for a Greater Lagos.’’

He said the laboratory facilities would improve the detection and monitoring of cholera cases, aiding in quicker responses and more effective containment measures.

“This action reflects a proactive approach to public health management and underscores the importance of robust infrastructure in tackling infectious diseases.”

Utsev said that proactive measures were necessary for extensive public sensitisation on personal hygiene and ensuring the proper treatment or boiling of water and cooking of food and vegetables.

He emphasised the importance of increased investment in the water and sanitation sector, particularly urging state governors, development partners, and the private sector to prioritise such efforts.

He reassured that the Federal Government would continue to support states through various interventions to ensure access to clean and safe water and improved sanitation for all.

The minister stressed the necessity of public-private partnerships, saying such collaborations would attract private investment, enhance efficiency, and ensure sustainable service delivery.

He said that the government would leverage private sector expertise and capital to upgrade existing water infrastructure and expand coverage to underserved areas.

The minister also advocated for community-based organisations to mobilise resources and implement low-cost, decentralised solutions tailored to local needs, particularly in the areas of operation and maintenance.

He underscored the significance of international development assistance in financing water and sanitation projects in Nigeria, saying their contribution to providing grants, loans, and technical assistance was timely.

Utsev called on state governors and traditional and religious leaders to intensify campaigns against open defecation and to build more decent toilets to discourage the practice, aiming to achieve an open defecation-free status by next year.

On his part, Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, reiterated his administration’s commitment over the past five years to addressing the water needs of Lagosians.

He, however, acknowledged the significant gap that still existed in achieving access to clean and safe water.

The governor called for more practical actions and support from the Federal Government, development partners, and other stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector.

The three-day International Conference featured presentations from notable figures, including Mrs Jette Bjerrum, the Consul General of Denmark in Lagos.

Other representatives from USAID and development partners also discussed the role of partnerships and collaboration to change poor water governance in the country.

FG reactivates water labs to curb cholera

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