Nigeria on Track to End Open Defecation by 2025—Minister
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has charged the institutions at the area councils and communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to drive the campaign against open defecation through the provision of adequate resources and awareness.
Mr Adamu made the call during his remarks at the official declaration of a State of Emergency in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the nation’s capital, Abuja, adding that the country was making steady progress in meeting the objective of ending open defecation among residents by 2025.
He said the objective also focuses on improving and promoting sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene across the territory.
In recent times, and even in the past, Nigeria has had its fair share in the global demographics of open defecation, which has put the nation in the negative limelight.
Efforts to revert the narrative have been snail-paced due to several constraints on policies, funding and implementation.
Meanwhile, the FCT Minister of State, Mrs Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, disclosed that the FCT population practising open defecation is alarming at 39.4 per cent.
She noted that the establishment of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency is one way the administration tackles the menace, adding that the children, youth, women, and the elderly all have essential roles to play in the scourge.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by her Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Austine Elemue, Mrs Aliyu was quoted as saying, “39.4 per cent of the FCT population practises open defecation; this is alarming and unacceptable. To achieve the goal of ending open defecation by 2025, all hands must be on deck in both the formal and informal sectors.
“Community-based organisations, religious and traditional leaders, organised private sector entities, development partners, as well as all government agencies are also expected to work in synergy to fight this menace.”
“Traditional institutions across the territory are expected to galvanise their subjects in this fight. Community and household members are enjoined to cooperate with relevant stakeholders and rise to own this war against open defecation in their respective communities,” she added.