President Muhammadu Buhari is set to launch campaign to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025, Mrs Chizorma Opara, the Acting Coordinator, Clean Nigeria-Use the Toilet Campaign, has said.
Mrs Chizorma Opara made this known on Thursday during a two-day training on Revised Open Defecation Free (ODF) Protocol and Validation for National Taskforce Group Sanitation (NTGS) members in Keffi, Nasarawa.
The workshop is organised by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. The revised ODF Protocol assigns the responsibility of validation of certified ODF communities to the NTGS which involves the review of the entire process leading to the certification of the communities.
Opara said that the launching had become necessary if open defecation had to end by 2025 in view of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to her, Nigeria has 47 million people defecating in the open and ranks second in the world and the highest in population in Africa practicing open defecation.
“In 2018, Mr President on Nov. 8, had declared a state of emergency in the sector and also with emphasis that Nigeria must end open defecation by 2025.
“This will actually keep everyone working together to see if we would all collectively achieve that,’’ she said.
Opara said that in 2011, Nigeria had consistently been second after India and the first in Africa with the largest population of people defecating in the open, and in 2014 India began a process that took millions of their people out of open defecation.
She said that the statistics had drastically reduced as high as over four hundred million people who now use toilets.
Opara said “They have stopped practicing open defecation and the plan for the country is that by Oct. 2, India will be open defecation free, which leaves Nigeria as number one with issues of open defecation,’’
Mr Emmanuel Eze, the Deputy Director said on Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources the training was the second validation training of its kind.
He said the training was to ensure expected results are achieved through the refresher course to address the gaps that was observed from the first training.
“This is the second training and is also to bring people on board due to the enormous assignments that may become available when the campaign to end open defecation starts.
“The campaign is to accelerate local government to ODF. It is a presidential launch and we are preparing and on Tuesday, we will have an inaugural meeting of the committee that will be responsible for the preparation of the presidential launch.
“Mr President wants to launch out a campaign for open defecation to ensure eradication of open defecation in Nigeria and this means everybody must key into it.