…to end open defecation by 2025
Nigeria loses N455 billion annually to poor sanitation and open defecation, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Quoting a World Bank report, Osinbajo said open defecation accounted for a third of the amount.
“The World Bank report on the economic impact of poor sanitation due to use of unsanitary or shared toilets and open defecation estimates that Nigeria loses N455 billion annually with open defecation accounting for a third of this amount.
“These costs include health care, loss of productivity, premature deaths, poor educational outcomes among others.
“The loss of lives and billions of naira to preventable water and sanitation related diseases as a result of inadequate basic water supply and sanitation
services is huge and should be brought to an end by an active collaboration between States and the Federal Government,’’ Osinbajo said.
He spoke in Abuja at the official launch of the‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’campaign under the National Programme to End Open Defecation in Nigeria.
Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, said in a statement that some governors, their representatives, ministers and market women attended the event.
The Vice President said:“We all must redouble our efforts and work together in order to meet the nation’s Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene needs.
“As a nation we simply cannot afford the huge costs including fatalities caused by preventable water and sanitation related diseases as a result of inadequate WASH services. In contributing to the government’s efforts, citizens must take action to avoid open defecation.
“But perhaps some of the more dire costs of open defecation are those that cannot be quantified in monetary terms, the social costs, loss of dignity, lack of privacy and increased vulnerability to physical attacks and violence especially for women and girls.”
“To this end, States and the Federal Capital Territory should consider common sense policy measures such as ensuring that construction sites are equipped with toilet facilities.
“Property development control regulators can also make it mandatory forbuildings to include external toilet facilities for staff such as security guards.
These and other such measures will reduce the incidence of public defecation.
“As the President said during the launch of the National Action Plan last year, Federal Government’s support to States will be based on their commitment to implement the National WASH Action Plan in their respective states and to end open defecation by 2025.’’
On the measures initiated to by the Federal Government to boost Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) across the country, the Vice President said the administration was committed to the development of the WASH sector.
“The National Action Plan is phased into Emergency, Recovery and Revitalization stages”.
“In the emergency stage, it is our desire to aggressively mobilize the entire country towards ending the practice of open defecation”.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu,
commended the federal government’s collaboration with state governors and development partners in a bid to end open defecation by 2025.