The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has reiterated the Administration’s commitment to address the challenge of open defecation and General sanitation challenges in the nation’s capital.
Speaking at an event organized to commemorate the 2019 World Toilet Day in Abuja Nigeria’s capital, Bello said it’s in line with President Buhari’s declaration of state of emergency on water, sanitation and hygiene in the country.
The Minister who was represented at the event by the Board Chairman, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Dr. Baruwa Yahaya said the theme for this year’s World Toilet Day being “Toilet for All”, focusing on leaving no one behind was chosen as the world strives to achieve universal access to sanitation.
According to him, the purpose of this year’s theme is to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which promises sanitation for all by the year 2030.
He further stated that the aim is to draw attention of the people who are left behind without sanitation and the social, economic and environmental consequences of inaction.
“The attention of everyone is drawn to the fact that about 2.5 billion of people in the world have no access to toilets. In Nigeria about 47 million people are involved in open defecation, poor sanitation and hygiene practices. In the Federal Capital Territory 50 percent, of the residents defecate openly due to challenges of non-provision of toilet in different home in communities as well as public places within FCT. Also, people leave their homes early from sub-urban towns into the city and use the drainage and bushes for open defecation and urination. Some people living in the communities have the culture of using the bushes around them for open defecation. This attitude has to change. There is a Ministerial committee saddled with the responsibility to bring up modalities for the provision of additional toilet facilities in the Federal Capital Territory“, Bello stressed.
Also, the Permanent Secretary Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Sir Chinyeaka Christian Ohaa said the Administration is already partnering with private sector for the use of solar powered public toilets, adding that the administration is working hard to ensure that all schools and other public institutions are fitted with functional toilets.
Represented by the Director, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Mr Samuel Atang, he emphasized that toilets are very essential because access to safe functional toilet has a positive impact on public health human dignity and personal safety.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Baba Shehu Lawan said the aim is to focus the attention of Government, Organizations and the public to the major environmental challenge of basic sanitation and its effect on the wellbeing of the citizens through raising awareness, information and integration.
According to him, reducing the number of people without access to basic sanitation service remains one of the most complex and pressing global development with public health challenges.
“This challenge is compounded by the unprecedented pace of urbanization throughout the large part of the country”.
He added that, sustainable sanitation is a matter of dignity, equality, and safety and is crucial to improving the health and wellbeing of humanity.