All is now set for Nigeria to end open defecation by 2025 with some States in the country already achieving open defecation free areas.
UNICEF Water Sanitation Hygiene Specialist, Bioye Ogunjobi, said this in Calabar, Cross River State during a two day Media Dialogue on Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet Campaign.
Mr Ogunjobi made known that Nigeria’s current delivery of improved toilet is approximately 160,000 per year.
He disclosed that national access to basic sanitation in Nigeria is now 41.5percent which according to him is line with the Millennium Development Goals requirement.
The UNICEF Chief also made known that several States in Nigeria now have State House verification bodies with the name, Community led total sanitation that carries out education on sanitisation across schools and communities.
“This body ensure that all schools in the community have toilets and they also educate communities on the need for the availability of toilets in every home”
He further disclosed that Nigeria now has 13 Local Government certified Open defecation free areas(ODF)
Jigawa State has over 3000 communities certified ODF while Bauchi State also has over 2000 communities already free of Open defecation .
Mr Bioye hinted that over 1000 communities in Jigawa State, in Northwest Nigeria, have been certified free of open defecation.
He added that Cross River State has also recorded sucess in ending open defecation in 6 of its Local goverment of Obanliku ,Bekwore, yala, Ikom ,Boko and yakurr.
Apart from the Cross River State being the first State to achieve local government wide open defecation free.
The Head Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information, Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju, at the Media Dialogue, said the launch of the Open defecation Campaign strategy by the Nigerian government was to jumpstart the country’s journey towards ending open defecation.
According to him, “the South zone meeting is aimed at creating awareness about Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet, Campaign and mobilize resources to sustain the national movement”.
“Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet is an ambitious behaviour change campaign in Nigeria with citizen engagement component, leveraging on working practices in States, with Local Govt Areas and communities certified as Open defecation free.
UNICEF Chief of Field office, Ibrahim Khalil Conteh, said the campaign was to mobilise resources towards the sustenance of national discuss on open defecation.
He also said the campaign will help Nigeria achieve open defecation framework by the year 2025.
“By the year 2030 Nigeria should be able to achieve adequate sanitation hygiene, and pay adequate attention to the needs of women ,girls and people living with disabilities.
UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr Geoffrey Njoku, stated that the media campaign was organised to help Nigeria not to be ranked first globally in open defecation.
“The campaign is trying to see what we can do to not to be in the number one category of open defecation”
“The campaign to end open defecation aims to engage the media to create awareness about Clean Nigeria: use the toilet Campaign and mobilise resources to sustain the national movement”
In November 2018, Nigeria declared a state of emergency in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene WASH sector, reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment towards the elimination of open defecation in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Nigeria ranks 2nd to India among countries practicing open defecation.