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Open defecation: Construct Public Toilets in the 36 States, Senate to FG

Senate, Medical reports, Hospitals
Red chambers of the Nigerian Senate

By Henry Umoru

THE Senate, on Tuesday, asked the Federal Government to through its relevant agencies increase the construction of public toilets around the 36 states especially in those states where open defecation has become more prevalent.
 
The Senate has called on the thirty- six States and 774 Local Governments to also construct more public toilets to battle the growing open defecation across the country.
 
The Senate has also urged the Ministry of Environment, Water resources Health and other related agencies to increase awareness and sensitization on the dangers of open defecation as a way of nipping it in the bud.
 
According to the Upper Chamber,  it is not enough to complain or acknowledge the growing case of open defecation, but hands must be on deck to do more in order to solve the problem.

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Resolutions of the Senate, yesterday were a sequel to a motion by Chairman,  Local and Foreign Debt, Senator Clifford  Ordia, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo Central on the activities to mark this year’s World Toilet Day.
Speaking on the motion, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said: “The government needs to provide the facilities if Nigerians must stop open defecation. The government needs to provide toilets in public places.”
Earlier in his presentation, Senator Ordia said that the “Senate:Notes that November 19 which is “World Toilet Day” (WTD) is an annual global event organized by UN-Water an interagency mechanism that coordinates the efforts of United Nations entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues, to raise awareness of the crucial role that sanitation plays in reducing disease and creating healthier communities. WTD is aimed at inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal no.6 (SDG 6), which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
“Further notes that 2019 World Toilet Day with the theme “Leaving no One Behind”, emphasizes the importance of expanding sanitation access to the more than 4.2 billion people living without safely managed sanitation options. Toilets save lives because human wastes spread killer diseases. WTD is about inspiring action to combat the global sanitation crisis.
“Worried that open defecation poses serious economic, social, health hazards effect on the people, community and the environment. An expert in water, sanitation and hygiene who works with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Mr Bioye Ogunjobi said Nigeria loses about 1.3% of its GDP amounting to N455 Billion annually due to poor sanitation and that a third of that cost is as a result of the practice of open defecation.
“Concerned that besides the exposure to diseases, there is a lack of dignity that is inherent in open defecation practices, particularly with regard to women and girls. If effective solutions are not found, the ​non-availability of sanitation facilities inadvertently further exposes women and girls to violence including rape, when they are forced to go out at night to defecate in the open.
“Notes further that as part of the efforts to address this issue with particular reference to ending open defecation, a National Roadmap towards making Nigeria Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025, was developed and launched in 2016. However, according to the National ODF Protocol, only minimal progress has been achieved in the implementation of the Roadmap with only 14 out of the 774 LGAs across the country so far being certified as open defecation free.”

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