Minister Berates Poor Roadmap Implementation Towards Ending Open Defecation by 2025

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Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has berated the poor implementation of the National roadmap towards ending open defecation in 2025, saying only 14 LGAs out of 774 have been certified open defecation free.

He lamented that reports made available by World Bank have shown that about 112,100 Nigerians including 87,000 children under five, die each year from diarrhoea with nearly 90 per cent of the deaths being attributed directly to water.

Adamu who disclosed this during a two-day workshop on private sector reform in Abuja recently, with the theme “Coordinating indigenous private sector initiatives to end open defecation in Nigeria” which was organised by Organised Private Sector-Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (OPS-WASH) and supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said despite the low performance, Nigeria was committed towards ending the menace by meeting the 2025 target.

He said the 2018 WASH national outcome routine mapping data showed that access to basic water supply services in the country is 67.9 per cent while access level to basic sanitation is 41.5 per cent.

“Also, access to basic sanitation in institutions and public places are also not encouraging, with the statistics sitting at a meagre 35.7 per cent, while 34 per cent of schools have access to basic water supply and sanitation facilities with only 15.7 of schools having access to basic WASH services out of which only 5.5 per cent of them are gender sensitive.

“As part of the efforts to address this issue, with particular reference to ending open defecation, a national roadmap towards making Nigeria Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025 was developed and launched in 2016.

“However, only minimal progress has been achieved in the implementation of the roadmap, with only 14 LGAs across the country so far being certified as ODF according to the national ODF protocol.

“Other national efforts include the launch of the National WASH action plan for the revitalisation of the WASH sector and the declaration of a state of emergency by Mr. President on 8th November 2018, with a strong statement to end OD in the country by 2025,” he added.

UNICEF Chief WASH specialist in Nigeria, Mr. Zaid Zurji, said towards meeting the 2025 target, 20 million household toilets will be needed, as well as 200, 2,380 and 1,548 toilets will be needed in motor parks, healthcare facilities and markets respectively.