Mr Peter Dowoyi, the Chairman, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Committee, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.
Dowoyi described the efforts as “a life saver from waterborne diseases”, particularly among children under five years.
“Typhoid, malaria and cholera are common diseases in our community, but the story has changed since UNICEF, in partnership with Kaduna State Government provided our community with a borehole.
“Our children don’t fall sick as frequent as they used to in the past,” he said.
The chairman also said that people of the community used to defecate openly, because people did not build toilets in the area and open defecation was a common practice.
He, however, said that UNICEF’s intervention in the community has changed their orientation towards good hygiene and sanitation.
“Now we have completely stopped open defecation, because we have seen the health hazard associated with the unhygienic practice and dug toilets in our houses,” Dawoyi said.
Ms Ruth Yohanna, the Director of Primary Healthcare in the council, equally commended UNICEF for selecting Unguwar Jatau as a beneficiary of its WASH project.
“Most of the communities in this council lacked sanitary facilities, particularly access to clean water.
“We really thank UNICEF for this life changing gesture,” she told NAN.
Yohanna urged women in the area, particularly pregnant and nursing mothers, to always visit health facilities to ensure their survival and that of their children.
According to her, the health centres in the area have enough manpower to provide antenatal and post natal services for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
NAN recalls that the Deputy Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Penille Lonside, supported by other senior staff of UNICEF, Kaduna Field Office, recently visited the community and expressed satisfaction over the successes of the WASH programme.
Lonside, who was at the community to assess the impact of the WASH project in the community, could not hide her joy over the community’s passion toward good hygiene and environmental cleanliness.
“What strikes me is how the community took ownership of the project, particularly in ending open defecation and maintenance of the provided water facility.
“Mothers now know that there are free health services available to them at the health clinic.
“Also of importance is the relationship between the community, the health workers and the management of the clinics,” Lonside said.
NAN also reports that the water scheme has a 15-litre capacity and is jointly funded by the Kaduna State Government, UNICEF and the United Kindom Government.