Expensive Shit - 2m Toilets Yearly Needed To Exit Open Defecation
About 24 per cent of Nigeria’s population, which is put at 47 million people, according to the 2018 Water Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASH NORM) survey, practise open defecation. It has also been revealed that Nigeria ranks second amongst countries practising open defecation globally.
The study indicated that the North Central has the highest of 53.9 per cent, followed by the Southwest with 28 per cent. The Southeast has 22.4 per cent, Northeast 21.8 per cent, South-south 17.9 per cent, while Northwest has 10 per cent.
Out of the 774 local governments in the country, only 13 are free of open defecation. To eradicate this menace, at least seven million toilets would be needed.
Statistics also showed that, while 34 per cent of schools and 12 per cent of hospitals have access to basic sanitation services, one in three Nigerians does not have access to potable water. So, for the country to be Open Defecation Free by 2025, the government needs to add two million toilets yearly, beginning from 2019, whereas, the country’s current delivery of improved toilets is put at 160, 000 per year
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This deplorable state of affairs informed the Federal Government’s move, through its Ministry of Water Resources to develop an initiative tagged: Making Nigeria Open Defecation Free by 2025 with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
It was against this backdrop that Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with UNICEF, recently, organised a two-day media dialogue on sanitation tagged: Clean Up Nigeria: Use The Toilet campaign in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The media advocacy was targeted at mobilising government to put more resources into helping citizens change their ways and stop the practice of open defecation, as well as improve sanitation, especially in rural communities. The programme was also targeted at getting the private sector to use its platform and products to launch the campaign and invest in the construction of toilets.
During a field trip to some communities in Ibadan around Sango Oju-Irin Market in Irepodun Local Government, open defecation posed a huge threat in the area. Dugbe, Sango and Omi-Adio communities were equally not spared.
This unhygienic condition was a source of concern to many residents of the communities, who lamented their helplessness and called on the government to do something to ameliorate the situation.
Mrs Jones Elisabeth, a community leader, said she abhorred dirt, but all her efforts at preventing open defecation in her area failed.