Nigeria has been adjudged the second country globally in the practice of Open Defecation.
The rating revealed by Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH NORM) survey stated that Nigeria followed closely behind India due to their population.
Speaking at an European Union workshop organised by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in conjunction with the Child Right Burea (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Informational and Culture with the theme, “Clean Nigeria: Use Toilet” in Ibadan, Oyo State, Mr Bioye Ogunjobi, WASH Specialist said, 47 million Nigerians representing 24.4 percent of the population still practice OD while 32 million people in the country still make use of unimproved latrine.
Mr Bioye who said the use of unimproved latrine is as bad as OD added that only 13 out of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria spread across four States, Jigawa, Bauchi, Venue and Cross River have been certified as Open Defecation Free.
“In Benue, only one community has been certified. There are communities that would have been certify ODF but they still have problem with their market places and motor park therefore, they are yet to be certify. If a community is 99 percent ODF, it cannot be certified until is 100 per cent.”
He said that the Federal Government cannot successfully build toilets for all but we can only achieve this through Public Private Partnership adding that, most Nigerians are yet to realise how deadly OD is to under 5 years children, the public and the society at large.
In his address at the worship, head, CRIB FMI, Mr Olumide Osanyipeju said, recently, Nigerian government declared a state of emergency on WASH Nigeria and launched an ODF campaign strategy to jump-start the country’s journey towards ending open defecation.
He said, the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme was formulated and launched in 2016 in direct response to the challenges affecting the rural WASH sector, with the aim of achieving 100 percent WASH coverage in rural areas.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from UNICEF, in partnership with Inter-Ministerial Agencies, Civil Society Partners, the Private Sector, and the people of Nigeria, is currently leading the ODF campaign to end open defecation in the country by 2025, and achieve universal access to safely manage sanitation by 2030.