Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday launched a national campaign against open defecation as part of efforts to curb the ugly trend and make Nigeria exit the number one position among countries practising open defecation.
The vice president said the campaign tagged ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ was a show of the Federal Government’s commitment to improve living standard and quality of life.
He said access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services were critical to national development because it was a major contributor to human capital outcome such as early childhood survival, health and education, that is why governments had consistently shown commitment to the development of the sector.
A World Bank report on the economic impact of open sanitation shows healthcare cost, infant mortality, loss of productivity and poor educational outcomes among others, Osinbajo added.
Speaking on the current status of WASH services in Nigeria, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said only 11 per cent of Nigeria’s population had integrated access to basic WASH services, while access to only water supply stands at 68 per cent, sanitation was 42 per cent, but 21 percent had access to hygiene services only.
Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, Simon Lalong, who represented the chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, said the state governors were committed to the campaign against open defecation and would commit funds and personnel in this regard.
Meanwhile, Youth Progressive Association (YPA), which yesterday took time out to sensitise the people of Taraba State on the dangers of open defecation, has tasked the people to maintain good sanitation.
Led by Mrs. Francisca Ikyumen, the group, which converged at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Jalingo to commemorate the World Toilet Day, urged women and youths to maintain good sanitation for a healthy society.