The Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has flagged off nationwide campaigns to end open defecation in the country.
Addressing journalist during the launching of the campaign tagged: “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” in Abuja, the Director-general of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, noted that the campaign was initiated to address the unfortunate position of defecation in Nigerian.
Abari said, “Nigeria is the fourth country with the highest number of people practising open defecation. Nigeria is better only to India, Indonesia and Fakistan, 46 milion of our people are still involved in this practice. Only eleven LGAs out of the 774 in the country are free of this practice.
“The implication of this practice and lack of sensitization has implication for universal public health. Public health experts posit that It is because of open defecation that we still have diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, polio among others.
“Child mortality especially for kids under five years of age are attributable to the effect of open defecation in Our land,” he said.
In his address, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, noted that as the focal Ministry for SDG 6, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources is committed to aggressively implementing policies and strategies to ensure that the country achieve this goal.
“The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 is aimed at ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030, which includes achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
“Besides the exposure to diseases, lack of dignity and inconvenience experienced when practicing open defecation due to non-availability of sanitation facilities, women and girls especially, are exposed to violence, including rape, when they have to go out at night to defecate in the open. Other negative impact includes poor educational outcome and loss of productivity,” he said.
He noted that as part of efforts to address the challenges in the WASH sector in Nigeria, the National WASH Action Plan was launched and a State of Emergency declared by Mr. President on 8th November 2018, with a strong statement to end open defecation in the country by 2025.
He further said that ending open defecation is not just about access to toilets. It is about generating demand for toilets and changing people’s behaviour regarding toilet usage.
“The Clean Nigeria campaign is a transformational and behaviour change campaign which seeks to mobilize high level political support, resources and the entire populace towards building a new culture of safe sanitation”.
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