USAID E-WASH: Sokoto Water Managers Partner Journalists To Enhance Services

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The officials of Sokoto State Water Board and other stakeholders in water sector have expressed commitment to actively collaborate with journalists on improved services.

A communiqué read by Malam Isma’il Umar of Voice of Nigeria at the end of three day media roundtable, made the commitment on Wednesday.

The meeting was organised by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services (USAID E-WASH) project.

The participants agreed on partnerships that would improve the health and hygiene of people through adequate sensitisation.

They resolved to establish a network of journalists for the purpose of advancing urban WASH reforms in Sokoto State.

Participants agreed to continually monitor, report and establish good working relationship with water board for effective reportage.

“The water board is enjoined to grant media practitioners access to facilities and information at their disposal upon request,’’ it said.

The communiqué quoted the participants as agreeing on periodic interaction between journalists, CSOs, WASH customers forum and water board for effective service delivery.

The media professionals should engage in promoting and sensitising citizens on tariff regimes to ensure compliance.

They also called for the sensitisation of water customers on the need to protect water facilities and to consistently push for the review of obsolete laws as regards urban water, sanitation and hygiene services through reportage and programmes.

“Journalists should advocate for the establishment of compliance and enforcement mechanisms for tariff defaulters and water infrastructure vandals,’’ the communiqué said.

Participants urged CSOs to collaborate with media to promote good menstrual hygiene and advocate for inclusion of women and people with disabilities in WASH related issues.

They should encourage water board to block revenue leakages and advocate for synergy with other relevant agencies on the blockages of water pipelines and facilities.

The participants agreed that WASH Sector should support the media to develop and implement effective strategic communication on WASH related activities.

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