THE Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, says that the Federal Government is considering legislation against open defecation in the country.
Adamu said this on Tuesday at an Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Sanitation in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said a large number of Nigerians still practice open defecation due to the failure of landlords to provide toilets in their buildings.
According to him, such laws will go a long way to address those who indiscriminately defecate in the open, forgetting that faeceas are transferable to foods and water.
“We are looking at having a legislation to punish those practicing open defecation, this is important because it will serve as deterent to others and also encourage everyone to build and use their toilets.”
He called on all Nigerians to promote behavior change in hygiene promotion, saying those practicing open defecation may soon face sanctions.
The minister noted that open defecation has been known to be the leading cause of preventable deaths in under five children.
He said there was the need to move away from dependence on budgetary allocations for promoting hygiene, saying Nigerians ought to understand that promoting health and hygiene is a great way to reduce disease burden.
The minister noted that the understanding of the crosscutting role of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector and its impact on other sectors has made it imperative to foster a strong mechanism to address sanitation issues.
Adamu reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to improve hygiene through the inauguration of the Partnership for Extended Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Nigeria to encourage stakeholders step up advocacy to promote improved livelihood.
Dr Priscilla Achakpa, National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) said no fewer than 46 million Nigerians practice open defecation.
He said that children of the poor were four times more likely to get diarrhoea as against those of the rich.
According to him, there is the need for all stakeholders to see sanitation as everyone’s business.
“It is a cross sectoral issue that affects the social economic, health, wellbeing of individuals.”
Achakpa said there was the need to build capacity of women, girls and other stakeholders on menstrual hygiene management and promotion of separate toilets for boys and girls to enable girls increase school attendance.
Mr Emmanuel Awe, Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation with the ministry, said measures were on to harmonise the National Sanitation Policy towards overall hygiene promotion.
Awe urged ministries to have separate budget line for promoting sanitation policies and programmes towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. – NAN
– Nov 1, 2017 @ 08:43 GMT |