Mr Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources said that Nigeria presently has 38 Local Government Areas that are Open Defecation Free (ODF) between 2019 till date.
The minister said this at the 1st anniversary of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign” in Abuja on Thursday.
“Over this one year period of the campaign, the number of ODF LGAs in the country has increased from 16 in 2019 to 38 as at November 2020.
“Additional six LGAs are in the process of being validated as ODF by the National Task Group on Sanitation, ” Adamu said.
He said that the ministry was able to achieve the feat despite limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic and commended all partners for their contributions to the achievement.
“ In recognition of their commitment, the ODF LGAS will be prioritised for water supply interventions under the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) in accordance with the established programme protocol,’’ Adamu said.
He frowned at some states which were still not showing any appreciable progress or action in addressing Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issues especially towards ending open defecation.
“ We recognise that the success of this campaign is dependent on strong engagement with states, LGAs and other stakeholders to secure the needed political and high level commitment required to drive the campaign,” Adamu said.
The minister gave assurance of the ministry’s commitment to building more partnerships and collaborations within and across sectors to ensure that deliberate and sustained attention needed to end open defecation in the country was in place.
He expressed optimism that the event would motivate states lagging behind to strive towards achieving the intended objectives of the Clean Nigeria Campaign.
Adamu said this would result in a healthy competition that would drive the nation towards ending open defecation by 2025.
Mr Mahmood Abubakar, the Minister of Environment urged Nigerians to partner with stakeholders on ending open defecation stressing that open defecation was detrimental to human wellbeing.
Mr Nicholas Igwe, the Organized Private Sector in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (OPS-WASH) representative, commended the Ministry of Water Resources for the support in the fight against open defecation as well as the launch of OPS-WASH Project“ Flushit’’ at the anniversary celebration.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria commended the Ministry of Water Resources for complying with the Executive Order on ODF and urged that efforts to end open defecation be put into effect by 2025.
Osinbajo advised that all public places such as markets, offices and worship centres must have accessible toilets within their premises to end open defecation. (NAN)