The UK Agency for International Development (UKAID), has suspended funding of its Community-Led Health Improvement through Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (CHISHPIN) programme in Cross River.
The Project Manager CHISHPIN, Mr Oliver Okon disclosed this at a Programme Coordinating Mechanism (PCM) Meeting in Abuja on Friday.
According to Okon, CHISHPIN is a three-year project targeted at increasing access to sanitation and hygiene with the aim of reducing diarrhea prevalence, especially in under-five children.
He said that the key target was to ensure that people move from basic latrine to improved latrine, wash their hands with soap or ash at critical times and live in defecation-free environment.
According to the programme manager, it initially targets three local governments in the state namely: Biase, Yala and Ikom, and is expected to reach 774, 354 people local governments-wide.
He said that the programme was to use the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach.
NAN reports that the £1.6million (N640 million) project grant, which began in Nov. 2015, is funded by the government of UK Department for International Development under the UKAID Direct impact window.
“Part of the reasons the programme funding was suspended by UKAID is the Cross River Government’s refusal to co-fund the project.
“The state government co-funding this programme was part of the agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the beginning of the programme implementation.
“However, this is not the only reason for our suspending the funding.
“Pockets of violence and communal conflicts in Wanikade and Wanihem wards and the challenging terrain during the rainy season are also key challenges,’’ Okon said.
The project manager noted that suspension of the programme had affected behavioural communication change among the communities and led to a drawback and poor motivation among workers and project facilitators.
He, however, said that United Purpose, an NGO, was cooperating with the State Ministry of International Development and Cooperation to seek solutions to the co-funding shortfall to meet the stated goals.
Earlier, the PCM Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Awe, said it was saddening that the state government refused to pay counterpart funding for sanitation.
He said that this was a drawback to scaling up sanitation and hygiene in the country.
Awe pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to promoting programmes and policies that impacted positively on the lives of all Nigerians.