…set 2025 target date to end the menace
As part of efforts to combat the menace of open defecation, Edo State Government has officially flagged off the ” Clean Edo: Use The Toilet” campaign to end open defecation. This is among the series of initiatives put in place by the government, in addressing challenges confronting the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in the State.
The Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu flagged off the campaign during a one-day stakeholders engagement on ending the practice of open defecation in Edo State, at the Government House, Benin City.
According to Shaibu, ” the State Government recognizes the fact that action to end open defecation in Edo State will require the contribution and commitment of everyone; government at all levels, civil society, private sector, development partners, traditional and religious leaders and the entire populace to mobilize to provide their sanitation facilities”.
Government institutions and the private sector should provide sanitation facilities in public places, such as schools, health care centres, motor parks and markets, in other to realize total coverage and sustainable access for all of the populace as we look towards the target date of 2025″, Shaibu added.
Continuing, he said: “despite the government’s resolve, progress and commitment to end the practice of open defecation in the State, most communities within the urban and rural areas still practice this shameful act which has created a setback in the State target towards achieving open defecation free status by 2025”.
“With the support of development partners, such as EU and UNICEF, out of the 1,983 communities in the 18 LGAs of Edo State, only 149 have been certified open defecation free in Etsako West, Ovia South West, Uhunmwode, Orhionmwon and Owan West. This outcome indicates that most communities in the State still form the habit of practising open defecation”.
Shaibu affirmed: “we have invited all of you today to brainstorm and chart a new approach to ending open defecation in Edo State”.
The stakeholders, however, strongly condemned the act of polluting the environment by way of open defecation, necessitating the government to put necessary steps in motion to ensure that open defecation is stopped in the State.
The event attracted top government functionaries from both state and federal levels, WASH coordinators, Heads of Local Government Administration, religious leaders, market women and the organised private sector, amongst other stakeholders.
In their speeches and presentations, the National Coordinator, “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign”, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Chizoma Opara; General Manager, Edo State Small Town & Rural Water Supply Sanitation Agency, Mrs. Mercy Omoregie; Water Sanitation & Hygiene Consultant, UNICEF, Akure Field Office, Dr. Bisi Orebiyi and Edo State Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Moses Agbukor, unanimously underscored the need to stop open defecation; being environmentally, hygienically and sanitation friendly to drastically reduce associated illnesses.
They noted that the campaign was aimed at mobilizing high-level political support, resources and the entire populace towards building a new culture of good sanitation practices in Nigeria.
“This requires the contributions and commitment of everyone; government at all levels, civil society, private sector, development partners and the entire populace, to drive the campaign through the provision of adequate resources and creating the critical mass of champions across the State”, they enthused.