Nigerians Charged On Behaviour Change To End Open Defecation

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By Stella Agbeyeke

Ending Open Defecation was not just about access to toilets but generating demand for toilets and changing people’s behavior regarding usage as a clean society breeds a healthy one.

The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu stated this during the South-South Zonal Review for state on Clean Nigeria, Use Toilet Campaign which held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.

Adamu, represented by the National Coordinator, Clean Nigeria, Use Toilet Campaign, Mrs Chizoba Okpara, said that the clean Nigeria was informed by Nigeria’s unfortunate position among top countries with the highest number of people practicing open defecation estimated to be at forty six million persons.

The minister said to this end the Ministry in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive where he declared Open Defection as Executive Order 009 in 2019 had been working to achieve a open defecation-free country before 2025.

The Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, on his part advocated attitudinal change in a bid to stop the practice, saying Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration would continue to build a society void of open defecation.

He asserted that, to this end, the government would build toilets in schools, health centers, and public places like markets, parks, motor parks among others.

Ukah said all hands must therefore be on deck to ensure that the 2025 date for a Nigeria that is Open Defecation Free was achieved stressing that rural areas, small towns and Urban centers must strive to end this unwholesome attitude that had brought shame and infamy to the country.

Others who spoke including the Comissioner for Water Resources, Edo State, Mr. Moses Agbukor, the Vice Chairman Ogbia Ndoni and Egbema Local Government Area, Rivers State, Mrs Stella Agada among others called for a sustained sensitization saying the quest to end open defecation was an arduous one but feasible if the stakeholders were committed to the cause.

The General Manager, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, RUWASSA, Delta State, Mr Clement Adiotomre, an engineer, commended Governor Okowa for his commitment towards eradicating open defecation in Delta State.
Engineer Adiotomre assured that RUWASSA would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders towards achieving the open Defecation Free State stressing that the Agency had kick started several programmes aimed at achieving success.

The two-day South-South Zonal Review meeting on Clean Nigeria, Use Toilets Campaign attended by the six states in the zone ended today with participants’ interaction section.

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