The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that 46 million Nigerians still do open defecation as its rate in Nigeria had remained regular at 23 per cent.
Mr Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF representative in Nigeria, in a statement issued on Fri to commemorate World Can Daytime, marked annually on Nov 19, lamented that there had been limited progress over the past times 2 years in the scrap against open defecation in Nigeria.
He stressed that, “It is clear that to a greater extent needs to be done to ensure that all Nigerians have access to safe toilets and that we shift closer to ending open defecation across the country.”
He famous that with the make clean Nigeria movement they were making strong efforts, stressing that the whole country needed to place their total weight behind the movement.
He added that they cannot afford to neglect, pointing out that ending open defecation was crucial to making progress in so many other areas, including wellness.
He listed that Kwara, Plateau, and Ebonyi, as the states that have the highest rates of open defecation, piece Abia, Zamfara, and Akwa Ibom, have the lowest rates.
Hawkins, nevertheless nonetheless, expressed delight that there had been some progress in ending open defecation, explaining that 71 out of Nigeria’s 774 local authorities areas have at present been declared open defecation-free, upwardly from 18 in 2019.
He stated that the states with the highest number of open defecation-free local authorities areas are: Katsina, Jigawa and Benue – with 21, 18 and 9, respectively.
Mr Peter Hawkins explained that Nigeria is making some progress in improving access to body of water, sanitation and hygiene ( WASH) services to its population, with 75 per cent of Nigerians having access to basic drinking body of water services – upwardly from 70 per cent in 2019.
According to him, access to sanitation, that is, can and hand-washing facilities, has also increased modestly, from 44 per cent to 46 per cent over the same period.
Mr Hawkins recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had, in Nov 2018, declared a province of emergency in the WASH sector and had also inaugurated a national movement tagged, “Make clean Nigeria: Exercise the Can” to jumpstart the country’s journeying to fitting open defecation-free by 2025.
He expressed delight that there was a clear commitment by the authorities to aid the population displace absent from the do of open defecation, a displace that would aid back up superior wellness outcomes for all, particularly children.
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