Stop Open Defecation; Save money, create job #WorldToiletDay
Nigeria and the global community have been battling with the aftermaths of open defecation for ages past. Before now, it was believed that open defecation is peculiar to the rural area, but it would surprise us to learn that it has become a common practice among the people in both urban, suburban and rural areas in Nigeria. Even more appalling to note is the fact that this practice has gained popularity among travelers, hawkers and market people. Many epidemics arise as a result of open defecation in the rural areas of Nigeria. Urban dwellers are not counted out neither because of inadequate public toilets or lack of strategic positioning of public toilets.
According to WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) figures, “Over 130 million Nigerians are without access to safe, private toilets and 45million people are practicing open defecation. More perplexing, Water Aid’s new report shows that the number of households in Nigeria with access to sanitation has declined by 9.1 percent since 1990 and this has affected our health as a nation.
This is the second-greatest decrease of 38 countries with measurable data in Sub-Saharan Africa. This takes a heavy toll on Nigeria’s people.
To this effect, changing the situation will take political commitment and financing from the very top.
Nigeria needs to measure up to its status as a middle-income country and finance its infrastructure accordingly. This means mobilising domestic resources, including through taxes and tariffs and making effective use of traditional aid to target poor people.
A 2012 World Bank report reveals that Nigeria loses N455 billion annually due to poor sanitation, which amounts to 1.3 percent of our GDP. This is because as a nation, we don’t see the business opportunities lying within the environment and sanitation. Millions of naira channeled towards procurement of drugs for several avoidable illnesses would have been directed towards other productive projects, if we had addressed our sanitation problems well. More so, thousands of jobs that would engage the unemployed youths would have been created through installation of toilets and environmental management. It should also be understood that an individual produces 200 grammes of faeces every day. One can imagine the volume of faeces that goes into the river and those that end up on the source of our waters and food when there is flooding.
According to World Health Organization, @WHO, a gramme of faeces of an infected person can have up to 10,000,000 viruses, 1,000,000 bacteria and 1000 parasite cyst and 100 parasite eggs. This should be a source of concern to all.
Let’s stop open defecation through the establishment of public and mobile toilets and create jobs through such means in different capacities. #MoreToiletsMoreJobs #StopOpenDefeacation #WorldToiletDay2017