Hope Spring #ClaimYourWaterRights held a radio program on WASH Accessibility in health care facilities amidst the covid19 Pandemic on 15th May 2020 at Coal City FM (92.9). It was a Question and answer discussion program. Here are some of the key discussions.

When asked the role of WASH in fighting COVID-19, this was the response of a Claim Your Water Rights team.

The role of Water Sanitation and adequate hygiene can’t be underestimated in preventing the spread of infection as coronavirus Hence the provision of WASH is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks.

The Provision of water enables regular hand hygiene and cleaning. Upholding recommended water, sanitation and health-care waste practices in the home and the community is important for reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Water lacking communities should come together to demand their water right. According to Ifeoma Okonkwo when asked How can citizens hold the government accountable to ensure adequate provision of WASH facilities in healthcare facilities?

She said ‘’Imagine a whole community coming together and unanimously laying the complaints of the violation of their rights to the Human Rights Commission or state water boards; definitely, the attention of relevant authorities will be drawn and interventions could start from there. This is one of the effective ways that citizens can claim their water rights.

A complaint should be laid to the human rights commission either through their online platform, which can be found on their website, www.nhrc2.aicee.net or in their various offices, which is located at New Haven, Enugu.

Data are being gathered on WASH facilities in hospitals across Enugu. The data will be made available to the government and public on our database. The monitoring/research aims to equip governments and relevant agencies with the information needed to make early decisions about reallocating resources where necessary as part of COVID19 Response/interventions

Callers/Residents Feedback and Contributions

Mr Ebere – “In my community, Ngenevo, we don’t have any running water. This is an urban community, not a rural area. We have a reservoir which was constructed by the government several years ago, occupying space but not supplying water and they keep asking us to wash our hands. How can we do that?”

Mr Onyeka – “When a greater percentage of people do not understand the necessities, the government or leaders may not do the necessary things. How many people know that water is as important as you are emphasizing? Many are so political that all they want is money, you don’t see people coming up to talk about necessities, it’s all about politics. I believe as you are emphasizing on citizens access to water that leaders will hear and eventually such necessities will be provided”.

Anonymous – “There are some basic amenities the government is owing Nigerian citizens because the world rating for the coronavirus has shown that Nigeria and Africa, in general, do not have the facilities to fight the virus. Water is a basic amenity which should be made stable for Nigerians by the government. Giving palliatives is only a charity move and not to fight disease or poverty. When the government makes the basic amenities functional, it will improve the survival rate of Nigerians”.