Over the last few years, especially since the launch of Universal Basic Education Act (UBEA 2004), a number of old and dilapidated schools have been rehabilitated and new ones constructed. However, 50% of schools in Nigeria do not have any water facility and 52% lack access to toilet facilities (WHO/UNICEF 2018). Without doubts, poor learning environment is one of the factors driving out of school syndrome.
For the girl child, inability to access basic services like water and sanitation has deterred some to maintain school attendance. For those young girls enrolled, they turn to open defecation in nearby bushes when nature calls. When open defecation is the norm, school children, especially girls, incur risk and vulnerability to physical and sexual attacks on their way to isolated bushes and pathways. At other times, girls spend quality time looking for and fetching water for household consumption thereby loosing productive time that would have been spent in schools learning.
Despite political commitments to reverse these discrepancies and combat Nigeria’s overwhelming out-of-school syndrome, investments in education is still low compared to other Sub-Saharan countries. In Kano State, government is struggling to contain her over 3 million children who are currently not enrolled in any form of formal education.
Children under the age of 15 account for about 45% of the total population in Nigeria. For national development, it is important to ensure that these groups of children are provided with quality education.
It is against this background that Comrade Adnan Mukhtar Tudunwada accepted the challenge to represent his constituents, Nasarawa Constituency, in Kano State House of Assembly. Being the youngest person running for a political position in the State, Comrade Tudunwada has vowed to concern himself with quality representation upon electoral victory.
Accordingly, on February 08, 2019; during a High-Level Courtesy Call by Connected Development on the need to prioritize access to water, sanitation and hygiene in line with Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 6 in particular; Comrade Tudunwada restated his commitment to quality representation and signed a pledge card that will have him prioritize or support water programmes, projects and policies in the parliament through his motions, votes and bills. The pledge card is a tool for accountability and civic engagement when Tudunwada finds his way to Kano State House of Assembly.
In the last quarter of 2018, WaterAid Nigeria in partnership with Connected Development launched a national campaign – #Vote4WASH, calling on the political class to increase budgetary allocation and releases to rural and urban water schemes. This is in realization that poor access to potable water and poor sanitation keep people in poverty. No country in the world has ever achieved modernity without good water, sanitation and hygiene. #Vote4WASH enjoins citizens to vote for candidates who publicly pledge to prioritize water programmes, projects and interventions in their states or constituencies.
AboutNwachukwu Agwu Ani
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