No fewer than 47million (24.4 per cent) Nigerians are practicing open defecation, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF has disclosed.
Disclosing this yesterday during a two – Media Dialogue on Sanitation – Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign organised in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information, UNICEF, and supported by the European Union, UKaid, in Ibadan, Oyo State, UNICEF Water and Sanitation, WASH, Specialist, Mr. Bioye Ogunjobi said Nigeria now ranks 2nd in open defecation in the world and first in Africa among countries with the highest number of people defecating in the open.
Ogunjobi who made reference to statistics from the country’s 2018 WASH NORM report, explained that out of the 47 million Nigerians, 16 million of them live in the North Central part of the country.
Lamenting that one out of 4 Nigerians defecates in the open, he added that 32 million Nigerians have no access to improved toilets, hence, the need for political will in order to achieve the 2025 target of making Nigeria open defecation free.
“Currently, only 13 local government areas from four States of Bauchi, Benue, Cross River and Jigawa are open defecation free. We have to mobilize the entire country otherwise the 2025 target will not be possible. Currently 102, 000 children die annually due to diseases related sanitation.
According to him, North Central states lead in open defecation with 53.9 per cent, followed by South West with 28.0 per cent, South East 22.4 per cent, South-South 17.9 per cent and North East 10.3 per cent.
He said increased and well targeted WASH funding at all levels especially for rural areas will help improve sanitation as well as improve the country’s chances of attaining the 2025 target.