From Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi
The UNICEF has said that forty seven million Nigerians are still practicing open defecation.
Speaking at a two-day workshop on media dialogue on sanitation: “Clean Nigeria, Use the Toilet Campaign”, UNICEF Specialist, Mr. Bioye Ogunjobi said that Nigeria ranks second among countries practicing open defecation globally.
He also said further that open defecation has an economic, social and health impact on national development while Nigeria loses about 1.3% (N455billion) of GDP annually due to poor sanitation and a third of that cost is as a result of open defecation.
“You see, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from UNICEF Nigeria and other development partners, and in partnership with inter-ministerial agencies, civil society organizations, the media, the private sector and Nigerians are currently leading the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet campaign to end open defecation by 2025 and achieved universal access to safely managed sanitation” he added.
He said that Nigeria needs to add two million toilets per year between 2019 and 2025 to achieve the target of Universal Basic Sanitation.
He appealed to the media houses, traditional rulers as well as the religious leaders to support the UNICEF and government agencies in advocating the uses of toilet and sanitation system.