By Asmau Ahmad
Nigeria has launched a campaign, “Clean Nigeria: use the Toilet,” to end open defecation by year 2025 and has marked three years of implementing the campaign.
Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador George Edokpa, disclosed this at an event in New York to mark the 2022 World Toilet Day, globally observed on November 19.
The event was organised by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Nigeria to the UN, India, the Netherlands, Singapore and Tajikistan.
Edokpa said ever since the campaign was launched three years ago, 62 Local Governments Areas in Nigeria have been certified Open Defecation Free.
“Nigeria is also committed to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including goal 6, which has placed emphasis on efforts towards sustainable sanitation.
“We have successfully constructed 3,402 sanitation facilities in institutions and public places between 2017 and 2021 including markets, schools, motor parks and Internally Displaced persons Camps,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria looks forward to the UN 2023 Water Conference Agenda and remains committed to the Water Action Decade for Sustainable Development 2018-2028.
He said Nigeria was committed to the Water Action Plan, having understood that access to clean water for all is a necessity for safe clean toilets.
“In this connection, our government constructed and rehabilitation 500 Water Supply Schemes in the 36 States, including the capital city, Abuja.
“Therefore, the challenge of preventing and containing communicable diseases, including the COVID-19 and its variants, cannot be completely addressed without safe clean toilet for all.
“It is important the international community recongnises that toilets and proper recycling of waste are critical in the quest for accelerating action toward sanitation and nature-based solutions to climate change.
“If we begin to take very seriously the task of providing safe clean toilets for our populace, women will feel safer in their privacy, diseases will be on decrease and the climate will heal faster.’’
World Toilet Day 2022 focuses on the impact of the sanitation crisis on groundwater.
This observance, held annually since 2013, celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation.
It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve SDGs 6: sanitation and water for all by 2030.
The 2022 campaign ‘Making the invisible visible’ explores how inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, polluting underground water resources.