With 47 million still practising open defecation, Nigeria is ranked second behind India with 550 million.
India, which set 1st October 2019 to end open defecation, has succeeded in removing over 400 million in the last four years.
Breakdown by region in the country shows that the North Central has 53.9%; South West has 28%; South East 22.4%; North East 21.8%; South-South 17% and North West 10.3%.
Speaking at a two- day dialogue on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Specialist UNICEF Nigeria, Mr. Bioye Ogunjobi, said:” India has a plan to end open defecation by 1st October 2019, which will likely catapult Nigeria to the number one ranking. ”
He added: “Findings from the 2018 Water sanitation and Hygien National Outcome Routine Mapping survey reveals that 24 per cent of the population, about 47 million people, practice open defecation.”
He also disclosed that 761 of 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria still practice opening defecation.
Consequently, only 13 out of the 774 LGAs are open defecation free and out of which eight (8) are through UNICEF supported intervention, four (4) in Cross River is through.
According to him, out of this 13 LGAs, six are from Cross River State namely: Obanliku; Bekwara;Yala; Ikom; Boki; and Yakurr respectively.
This was achieved according to him is as a result of community health rural sanitation.
On what the country needed to do to address the situation the UNICEF WASH specialist said efforts must be made to ensure the 47 million Nigeria currently without access to toilet are made to use toilets.