Stakeholders call for massive public awareness on open defecation

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The Nigerian Flag

Participants at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources stakeholders training on campaign for Nigeria to become Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025, have called for massive public awareness to achieve the desired results.

They made the call at the end of a two-day training on Revised Open Defecation Free (ODF) Protocol and Validation for National Task Group Sanitation (NTGS) members in Keffi, Nasarawa state.

Mrs Yemisi Akpa, a facilitator said the training was important  to build a pool of skilled validators since Nigeria was trying to become Open Defecation Free by 2025.

“At the national level, we understand that the role of the NTGS is critical and our role is to ensure that we validate, certify ODF communities and local government areas.

“Therefore, we need to have skilled personnel on ground that will carry out that role effectively and this is the essence of the training to build their capacity for them to have a good understanding of what the protocol is all about.

“This is also to ensure that when those trained are doing their work, they will be able to implement the Protocol as stipulated, ” she explined.

Akpa said that efforts were being made by the Federal Government and developing partners to ensure that massive awareness was put in place to educate Nigerians on the implications of open defecation.

She said that the Clean Nigeria-Use the Toilet Campaign had been put in place and a lot of work was going on underground “and we are trying to develop messages that will be rolled out to actually create that mass campaign awareness that is required.

“Mr President has actually given approval at the Federal Executive Council level for the campaign to run and we are planning that the president will do the official national launch.

“And we are hoping it will be in the next one or two months.

“As it will now serve as the official launch, so all the messages and information that we have been developing will then be rolled out and I am sure by then everybody will be aware that something is happening.

“Then from the national launch, there will be that of the state level and it will be taken to the LGAs so that it will cut across all levels of government,’’ she added.

Peace PIAK