World Toilet Day: Nigeria launches rural water sanitation services

Hikmat Bamigboye

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Nigeria has launched it Rural water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) services, access and sustainability programme to end open defecation in the country by 2025.

The program was designed as a National collaboration instrument for the improvement of access to rural water and sanitation in the country.

The Minister of water resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu said this at the National launching and flag off of ‘THE CLEAN NIGERIA‘  2019 world toilet day celebration in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Adamu, noted that over the years Nigeria had maintained the first position among countries practicing open defecation and second in the world.

The current status of water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) services in the country showed that only 11% of the population having integrated access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene while 68%, 42% and 21% have access to water supply, sanitation and hygiene services respectively and an estimated 47 million Nigeria’s practice open defecation adding that, the practice of open defecation is a normal in many communities due  lack of sanitation facilities, he said.

He stressed that the objective of the National Action Plan is to ensure that every Nigerian has access to suitable and safety managed WASH services by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 6.2. to end open defecation in the country.

He said that India was rated the first in the world in open defecation, adding that in the country’s bid to rid it of such menace, India had taken over 500million people off open defecation.

In view of the reality that Nigeria may soon take over India, there is need to embark on this campaign to mobilise high level political support, resources and critical stakeholders toward building a new culture of safe sustainable sanitation

This is the only way to achieve the target of making Nigeria open defection free by 2025, he said.

The minister, however, assured that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari administration was making a deliberate attempt to end open defecation in the country.

The Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor  Kayode Fayemi who was represented by Mr Solomon Lalong, Governor of Plateau, said that the states would collaborate with the Federal Government to commit funds and engage personnel to tackle open defecation in the country.

He said that the state governors remained committed to ending open defecation, adding that they would do their best to ensure that cleaningness was replicated across the country.

The theme for this year’s World Toilet Day is ‘Leaving No One Behind.’ It emphasises the importance of expanding sanitation access to the more than 4.2 billion people living without safely managed sanitation options.