United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said that in less than two months, Nigeria would emerge the capital city of open defecation in the world with over 47 million still practising open defecation in the country.
This was made known by the UNICEF, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, specialist, Mr Bioye Ogunjobi on Wednesday at a Media dialogue on sanitation in Makurdi, the Benue state capital.
Ogunjobi explained that India which at the moment held that position, would quit it for Nigeria in October when open defecation would be outlawed in that country.
He said, “By October 1, 2019, India which at present occupies that position will ban open defecation and Nigeria which currently occupies the second position will take over from India as the number one open defecation country.”
In her presentation, the Chief Scientific Officer, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Yemi Akpa stated that the Federal government had approved the sum of N10billion to fight the menace across the country in 2019.
Speaking on the topic ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign – the Journey so far’ Mrs Akpa said it was expected that the federal government would release the said sum annually till the year 2025 when it was elected that the country would be free from the practice.
“This will sustain the campaign against the practice and for the campaign to be successful in Nigeria everyone must be involved.
“If India can take over 550 million people out of open defecation in four years, Nigeria can also take 47 million people out of it between now and 2025,” Mrs Akpa stated.
Speaking on behalf of the private sector, Mr Nicholas Igwe who spoke on the topic ‘the link between the rural sanitation and urban sanitation. What can the private sector do’? said the fight against open defection must take a multi-sectoral approach to succeed.