Akwa Ibom Emerges Cleanest State In 2021

Akwa Ibom State has emerged the cleanest state in the country, according to a quarterly rating index by Clean Up Nigeria (CUN) of the Cleanest State in Nigeria.

The state scored a total of 64% on the cleanliness indicators followed by Ebonyi and Bauchi states which scored 55% and 54% index ratings respectively.

According to the report, only 7 States (Akwa Ibom, Abuja, Cross River, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Lagos and Kaduna) scored above 15% out of the 30% on the streets/roads cleanliness indicators.

The report also revealed an alarming rate of open defecation across the thirty six (36) States of the Federation and FCT with a spike rate of 27% in 2020 to 34.6% in 2021. These figures, according to the report, places Nigeria as the number one country in the world that leads in open defecation since 2018 to 2021 (back to back).

The report wondered how Nigeria with an estimated population of 270 million people overtook India with a population of 1.4 billion people (a country that has a total world population of 17.7%) ranking second to China with a population of 1.6 billion people to become the country with the highest ranking in open defecation.

On personal hygiene and sanitation, the report stated that only three states (Akwa Ibom, Cross River, and Abuja City) scored above 3% of the 10% and can be said to come close to possession of good personal hygiene/sanitation practices in the country.

Performance indicators from our studies shows that over 172.7 million Nigerians in 2021 are living in unclean environment, compared to 170 million in 2020. Presently only four States in the country namely Lagos, Oyo, Abuja and Bauchi have sanitary landfills, while the remaining 34 States operate open dumping. This development is not only alarming but calls for urgent intervention in addressing the menace.

“2% improvement was recorded in the procurement of waste management equipment by some States and Local councils in the country in 2021, and there was a significant drop in waste management equipment as most previously on ground became unserviceable.

“Funding by States/Local Government Councils for waste management services has reduced drastically when compared to the increase services offered. This equally calls for serious incremental review on the part of governments at all levels to help confront the challenges of ensuring a cleaner, healthy and safer environment.

“Improvement of the health of sanitation workers employed both by government and private sectors to provide waste management services fell from 48% in 2020 to 36% in 2021.

“The informal sector operators of waste recycling and reuse enterprises recorded lower patronage, suffered more setbacks as their activities reduced from 37% in 2020 to 26.5% in 2021 thus increasing the level of poverty in the country.

“The incidence and prevalence of sanitation related diseases has increased from twenty five (25) per cent to thirty two (32) per cent in Nigeria.

“Inadequate sanitation/hygiene practices of the people in over thirty five (35) States and the FCT still leaves much to be desired and calls for multiple strategies by all stakeholders,” the report stated.

Siting further data from its satellite imagery, the report also revealed that 95% of the States/Towns in the country recorded poor performance under the five (5) variables, in the performance indicators (street/road cleanliness, vegetation Control/distilting, waste management services, public opinion pool and knowledge and attitude and practice of hygiene and sanitation). This, however, excluded States like Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Kaduna including Abuja metropolis who stepped up their environmental activities during the period under renew (2021).

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