UNICEF urges private sector involvement to end open defecation in Nigeria
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is set to support 10 local government areas of Kano state to attain the status of Open Defecation Free (ODF), according to an official of the Fund.

Mrs Stella Okafor-Terver, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Officer, Unicef Kano Field Office, said this in Kano on Monday, at a 2-day training of State Task Group on Sanitation (STGS) on open defecation in the state.

She listed the local government areas to include, Madobi, Takai, Gaya, Kabo, Dawakin Tofa, Danbatta, Wudil, Sumaila, Garko and Doguwa.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA).

“The essence of the training and our coming together is to see how we can support the Kano state government to deliver even three out of the 10 local government areas.

“The level of open defecation in the state is of serious concern to us as UNICEF and the government as well as other key stakeholders, hence our decision to support the areas to ensure that they attain ODF status,” she said.

The Unicef official said the Fund had committed a lot of funds to support the local governments to be ODF and check outbreak of diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera among other killer diseases.

“There are a lot of children that die because of diarrhoea. So, we are here to see how we can support our fellow human beings to ensure that we have a healthy society.

She said that the Federal Government was not happy about Nigeria taking the first position in open defecation, hence the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on open defecation in the country.

“India used to be number one in open defecation, but if government of India was able to take the country out of that position, I see no reason why Nigeria should not do same,”she said.

She called on the participants to make the best use of the opportunity to move the state out of its present situation.

NAN reports that the participants were drawn from various relevant state’s  ministries, departments and agencies and selected local governments.

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