Nigeria: Buhari Signs Executive Order to Tackle Open Defecation in Nigeria

Baba Awolu is attends to a man who wants to use his local toilet and washroom facility "Gidan Wanka" in Jahi Abuja, Nov. 18, 2019.
20 November 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari Buhari Wednesday signed Executive Order 009 which is titled 'The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order.'

The signing of the order is to ensure Nigeria becomes open defecation free by 2025.

About 46 million Nigerians are said to practice open defecation making the country the second in the world with such unhealthy practice.

Only India ranked worse than Nigeria in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH NORM) survey conducted by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Nigerian Ministry of Water Resources and National Bureau of Statistics took part in the Nigerian survey.

The survey also found that only 11 of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria are free from the practice of open defecation.

The order signed by President Buhari is expected to help address the menace.

Details of the executive order were sent to PREMIUM TIMES and signed by Mr Buhari's spokesperson, Femi Adesina.

The order "established in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources a National Secretariat called "Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat".

"The Secretariat is authorized on behalf of the President to implement this Order by ensuring that all public places including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals and offices have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises."

Read the full details of the executive order below.

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday signed Executive Order 009 entitled, The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order.

The Order declares as follows:

1. That by this Order, Nigeria is committed to being open defecation free by 2025.

2. That the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from other key sector players across Nigeria be put into effect.

3. a. There is established in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources a National Secretariat called "Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat".

b. The Secretariat is authorized on behalf of the President to implement this Order by ensuring that all public places including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals and offices have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises.

4. All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government shall cooperate with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.

5. The National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly shall enact legislation on the practice of open defecation with appropriate sanctions and penalties.

6. All development projects shall include construction of sanitation facilities as an integral part of the approval and implementation process.

7. The Secretariat shall terminate when Nigeria is declared Open Defecation Free.

8. All enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this Order.

The Executive Order 009 came into being against the background that:

Nigeria is ranked second amongst the nations in the world with the highest number of people practicing open defecation estimated at over 46 million people - a practice which has had a negative effect on the populace, and has contributed to the country's failure to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

President Buhari had described the statistics on open defecation and access to pipe borne water service and sanitation as disturbing, and had declared commitment to implement the National Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan;

The President had declared a State of Emergency on Nigeria's water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector, the action being imperative as it will reduce the high prevalence of water borne diseases in different parts of the country which have caused preventable deaths;

Nigeria has committed to end open defecation throughout the country by 2025 in consonance with her commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

This Executive Order takes effect from Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

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