The National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS) has emphasised that a maximum of 15 persons are allowed to share a household toilet while 45 persons are allowed to share a communal toilet.

The Chairman of the group, Mr Emmanuel Awe said this on the sidelines of the NTGS meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

Awe said the information on the number of persons to share toilets had become necessary, following an update on review of the Open Defecation-Free (ODF) Protocol.

According to him, the protocol seeks to address emerging issues on Community Led Total Sanitation implementation toward ending open defecation practice.

He said the protocol also highlighted the need for separate toilets for boys and girls in schools, adding that this would help in overall hygiene promotion and menstrual hygiene management.

While commending WaterAid and UNICEF for the role they played in reviewing the protocol, Awe urged stakeholders to abide by the provisions toward making Nigeria Open defecation-free by 2025.

Awe said Dass Local Government Area in Bauchi was set to become the second local government areas to be declared open defecation free, after Obanliku in Cross River.

He commended the Emir of Dass for enforcing sanctions on those who failed to build and use their toilets.

“This has made it possible to attain this goal. Out of the 351 communities in the local government area, 85 per cent of them have been validated and certified ODF.

“Out of the 351 communities in the area, 85 per cent were verified and we saw that they all abided by the ODF protocol to ensure that they build and use their toilets.

“We want to commend the Emir for his passion to see to it that people don’t defecate in the open, he made sure he sanctioned people who failed to abide by the law.”

He said this achievement would be celebrated, adding that ending open defecation was part of the commitment of the Federal Government before 2025.

According to him, the adverse effect of open defecation is one of the lead causes of deaths and illnesses in children, especially in under-fives.

The  document on National Roadmap on Making Nigeria Open Defecation-Free by 2025, which indicates that improved sanitation and hygiene are fundamental to child-survival, socio-economic development and wellbeing.

The report says access to improved sanitation has declined over time, with no fewer than 70 million people lacking access to improved sanitation.

According to the report, more than 45 million of them are practicing open defecation in Nigeria.

Community Led Total Sanitation has been proven to be an effective approach toward accelerating sanitation access in the country, having grown from 15 ODF communities in 2008 to over 14,000 in 2016.

It was recalled that the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu had said that Nigeria was among the nations in the world with the highest number of people practicing open defecation.

According to him, the practice has a negative effect on the populace.

Adamu explained that the cost benefit of investment in sanitation and health, economic and education sectors could not be overemphasised, adding that it would go a long way in contributing to economic growth and development.

 

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