UNICEF calls for end to open defecation

By Raphael Jov

According to statistics by United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, about sixteen million people out of about forty seven million people across Nigeria who practice Open Defecation (O.D) are from North Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria which is made up of Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory.

The revelation was made by a UNICEF Water Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, Specialist Bioye Ogunjobi.

Ogunjobi during a dialogue on sanitation, tagged “Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet” in Kano, also revealed that Jigawa state leads other states in the country with over 3000 communities declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

The UNICEF called on the federal government to take ownership of WASH campaigns from development partners like UNICEF, European Union, EU, among others for its sustenance.

Ogunjobi wants government at all levels to budget more funds for the country to achieve an Open Defecation Free status in the country by 2025.

Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy Director, Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Olumide Osanyinpeju explained that “Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet” campaign is aimed at effecting behavioral change among Nigerians on OD, public advocacy, grassroots mobilization, and private sector engagement to end the scourge by 2025.”

Correspondent Raphael Jov reports that research has shown that Nigeria ranks second among countries practicing open defection globally and a 2018 WASH National Outcome Mapping (WASH NORM) survey says 24 percent of the population (47 Million People) practice open defection.

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