Monday, April 10, 2017

Nigerian government plans to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025

The Federal Government (FG) has developed a national roadmap to eradicate the menace of open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.

It said the roadmap has already been adopted by the National Council on Water Resources as a veritable tool of fighting the menace.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, at the Wide Open Defecation Free celebration in Obanliku Local Government Area, Cross River State, Nigeria.

He said that the programme has been incorporated into the annual plans and budgeting processes for phased implementation at the national level while states are expected to do same.

He added the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) and the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap will eliminate open defecation.

“To achieve ODF, means without exception, all households and institutions have ended the practice of open defecation; they have cleaned their environment and have constructed basic or modified toilets. That is the case of Obanliku LGA we are celebrating today.

“Nigeria is reported to be a country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation in Africa estimated at over 46 million people and more than two-thirds of the population are without access to basic sanitation facilities,” he stated.

Adamu said that efforts in time past to address the situation has yielded minimal results, maintaining that: “A critical look at the situation shows that it cannot be business as usually and that all hands must be on deck in tackling this challenge.”

Also launched to address this issue was the PEWASH, a national collaborative instrument for the improvement of access to water supply and sanitation in Nigeria.

Nigeria through the PEWASH strategy targets eliminating open defecation by 2025 in line with the ODF Roadmap and achieving 100 per cent access to rural water supply and basic sanitation by 2030.

In his reply, the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade, represented by the State Commissioner for Water Resources, Ntufam Oji, commended the Federal Government’s efforts at ending open defecation in Nigeria.

He stated that the feat achieved by Obanliku as ODF status was a collaborative efforts of the Federal, State, Local Government as well as other stakeholders in the sector.

According to him, the practice of not defecating in the open has helped the communities in the Local government area and this has improved the health status of the entire LGA.

“The state will try as matter of priority to pay its counterpart funds of the programme so that the achievement could be replicated in other LGAs of the state,” he said.

Also, the Executive Director of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) Chris Williams stated that WSSCC has been a key partner in Nigeria’s WASH sector.

Chris said that WSSCC has supported Sanitation programme in Nigeria with a grant of $5 million through the Global Sanitation Fund.

“With this feat achieved in Obanliku LGA, WSSCC will keep on supporting Nigeria in the fight of ending open defecation in the country. Nigeria will be considered in the second tranche of $5 million so as to replicate the feat in more LAGs of the country,” he said.

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