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Improved health through CLTS in Dukku, Nigeria

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Article in the Nigerian Observer, 30th November 2010

DUKKU (GOMBE) – The health status of members of the Wurotara community of Dukku Local Government Area of Gombe State has improved due to the implementation of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme.
Alhaji Ali Adamu, the Chairman, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCOM) in the community, told newsmen in Dukku that the people no longer practised open defecation and that efforts were being intensified with a view to attaining total sanitaion.

Adamu said that before the inception of the CLTS, the area had recorded a high rate of diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera cases but that it was now free of water and sanitation-related diseases. “We have seen a lot of changes; we enjoy our good health and that has helped to us to work very well on our farms not like before that we often take sick leave from farming activities. “Also, we don’t perceive odour of feaces any more in our community, you can stand anywhere and eat whatever you like,’’ he said.

The success recorded in the area has attracted the interest of neighbouring Burlewol and Shagari communities who want to embrace CLTS, the chairman said. Similarly, Mr Shehu Adamu, the Chairman of Wurodele Community in Gombe Local Government said the implementation of CLTS programme in the community had resulted to good sanitation and hygiene practices as well as reduced sanitation-related diseases. “Before now, we used to have diarrhoea and typhoid fever, but now, we are free from all those diseases,’’ Adamu said.

He attributed the success to a decision by the community to sanction anyone who did not provide latrine for his household, adding: “so far so good; we have received maximum cooperation from our members.” In the same vein, Malam Sa’ad Yuguda, Sanitation Officer, of the UNICEF-assisted Gombe State Water and Sanitation Project Officer told newsmen that five communities had credited the evident improved health status in their areas to CLTS. “There is a particular community that told me they had 89 members admitted in hospitals for various water and sanitation-related diseases a year before the CLTS.

Date: 2 December 2010