By Wale Ajibade with addtional reports from Babatope Babalobi
The Global Forum on Sanitation kicked off in Mumbai, India, yesterday with WSSCC’s Chair, Anna Tibaijuka urging stakeholders to jaw jaw and find solution to one of the greatest development challenges facing the world .In an address delivered on her behalf by Jon Lane, the Executive Director of the WSSCC, Tibaijuka urged participants to proffer solutions to global sanitation challenges, while urging more action by all stakeholders.
In one of the plenary sessions, Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba, Deputy Country Director of Action-Aid Nigeria recommended multiple methods for bringing behavioural change and social transformation such as is needed in the sanitation sector for the successful implementation of safe hygiene practices.
Illustrating from a project implemented in Katsina change in Northern Nigeria, which was aimed at increasing access of the girl child to school and safe sanitation service, Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba advised drivers of behavioural change to work with religious and traditional rulers, set up unisex clubs to allow boys or girls discuss their common problems, use community media to disseminate messages and encourage the beneficiaries to develop a charter of demands.
You need to dismantle religious and cultural barriers that hinder girls access to western education use religious and traditional leaders as advocates of change while encouraging Government to put basic infrastructure in place, said Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba whose presentation was titled ‘Bridges for Girls education’
Ada Oko-Williams, Coordinator West African Regional Learning Centre of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) briefed participants on the huge successes recorded by WaterAid Nigeria in implementing the CLTS in various communities in Benue state, Nigeria and other areas in West Africa, pointing out that WaterAid Nigeria is developing a Training system for CLTS in Nigeria.