‘Clean & Green’: 48million Nigerians Still Practice Open Defecation Despite 2025 Deadline – Minister

…says FG needs to construct 1 million public toilets across 36 states

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The Minister of State for Environment, Izhaq Adekunle Saleko has said that no less than 48 million Nigerians which represents 23 percent of the total population still practice open defecation.

This is despite 2025 deadline set by ‘Clean and Green’ programme to end open defecation, just as 159 million Nigerians are without washing hand facilities.

The Minister note is barely a year to deadline, while he mentioned the Federal Government needs to construct one million public toilets in public facilities across the country, adding that so far only five thousand toilets have been provided.

Saleko stated this while he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Environment during an interactive session in Abuja.

According to him, Nigeria is lagging behind in putting an end to open defecation, while stating that the Federal Government in terms of funding cannot provide toilet for every Nigerian.

The Minister further explained that the Ministry has taken various steps to address the issue of open defecation in the country.

He said that the ministry has developed the National Environmental Sanitation Policy and its guidelines on sewage and Excreta management to guide the professional conduct on proper excreta disposal and control of open defecation in the country.

He further explained that the ministry has established sanitation desks in the 36 States’ Ministries of Environment and FCT to monitor and ensure proper environmental sanitation at the community and household levels by conducting routine sanitary inspections of premises, and sensitizing the public on dangers of open defecation and the importance of having access to toilet in residential and public places.

Also he called for the commemoration of National Environmental Sanitation Day on 28th June every year to create a massive awareness on the importance of environmental sanitation and good hygiene practices, thereby institutionalizing sound sanitation and hygiene practices among the citizenry.

”The commemoration activities include community cleaning exercises, facilities inspection, organization of quiz competitions among secondary school students to broaden their knowledge on environmental sanitation and hygiene practices and sensitization/awareness creation in selected communities to prevent and control open defecation as well as environmental sanitation-associated preventable diseases such as malaria, cholera, Lassa fever, e.t.c

“Commemoration of world toilet Day on 19th November every year for awareness creation and sensitization of the general public on dangers of open defecation and need to have access and use toilet. The 36 States of the Federation also join in commemorating the day in their respective states.

“Commemoration of Global Handwashing Day on 15th October every year for sensitization and awareness creation on the importance of Sanitation and proper Hand Hygiene.

“Conduct regular sensitization/advocacy and sanitary inspection of toilets in Federal Government owned institutions and Unity Schools Nationwide. The Ministry also liaises with the state Ministries of Environment and Environmental Health department at LGAs to ensure effective routine sanitary inspection of premises in which the presence and status of the sanitary facilities is a major component of the exercise

“The Ministry initiated a programme titled ‘Clean and Green’ in which One of its aims among others is to eliminate open defecation in Nigeria by 2025 and ensure sustainable total sanitation and implementation of green technology initiatives in Nigeria.

“The Ministry is implementing Community Based Intervention on the control of open defecation program nationwide, which has the components of Sensitization/Awareness Campaign and construction/provision of public toilets with Solar Powered Boreholes. This programme has been implemented in FCT, Nasarawa, Niger, and Abia states. The Ministry intends to scale up the project to other states of the Federation.

”Flagged off National Environment Sanitation Intervention/Response to Cholera Outbreak prevention and control in Abuja, FCT with series of planned activities targeting control of open defecation nationwide which has been implemented in Kogi, Nasarawa and Kano State.”