Owerri — The Federal Government has revealed that the sum of Nine hundred billion naira (N900b) would be required to end the ugly trend of Open Defecation in the country before the end of 2025. This is even as the FG has approved the sum of N10billion to tackle the menace in 2019.
This was made known by the Chief Scientific Officer, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Yemisi Akpa, while making a presentation at a Media Dialogue on Clean Up Nigeria, use the Toilet Campaign, held in Calabar, the Capital of Cross River State.
According to her, the Federal Government from 2019 has put Mechanism in place, so as to make the sum of N10billion available annually till 2025, with the view to eradicate the trend across the country. She called on Nigerians to support the FG in its quest towards building a healthy and vibrant society and stressed that a healthy nation, is a wealthy nation.
Her words, "for this Campaign to be successful, everyone must be involved and the funds made available by the Federal Government would assist in sustaining the Campaign".
"If India can take over 550 million people out of open defecation in four years, Nigeria can also take 47 million people out of same situation between now and 2025".
Speaking, the Chief field officer, UNICEF, Mr. Ibrahim contech, stressed that open defecation entails disposal of human waste in the open fields, forest, bushes, open body of water, which according to him, could give rise to such diseases as cholera, typhoid and could also result in deaths if not properly managed.
According to him, the dialogue with the media, was to achieve eradication of Open Defecation (ODF) in Nigeria by 2025 and targeted towards ensuring that the nation meets total sanitation mandate as enshrined in the sanitation mandate of SDG's.
Conteh, who was represented by the WASH specialist, Enugu field office, Mr. Dontinye kakuku explained that the eradication of ODF would entail the involvement of households, institutions, schools, motor parks, market and other places in having and usage of improved toilet facilities.
In his comment Mr. Bioye Ogunjobi, UNICEF WASH specialist explained that there is need to engage the private sector, so as to achieve the aims and objectives of the programme.
According to him, available statistics revealed that 47 million Nigerians currently engage in open defecation.
He explained that India which ranks first in the ranking of countries engaged in open defecation might vacate the position for Nigeria because India has set October, 1st 2019 as date to end the menace.
While indicating that if India accomplishes their aim, Nigeria, the second highest in ODF would become the country with the highest number of people engaged in ODF.