123m Nigerians defecate in the open, says WaterAid
As the world commemorates Toilet Day, WaterAid’s World Toilet Report 2017 has revealed that 123million Nigerians defecate in the open, making it the third worst country in the world in number of people without the facility.
The analysis, released to commemorate World Toilet Day, revealed that globally, one in three people still lack decent toilets.The report further disclosed that the worst 10 countries in access to basic sanitation by percentage were in sub-Saharan Africa where only 28 per cent of people have a decent toilet, and children were14 times more likely to die before the age of five than in developed regions. It lamented that 1.1billion women and girls in the world bore the brunt of the global crisis.
The report, made available to journalists in Abuja by the Communications and Media Manager of WaterAid, Oluseyi Abdulmalik, noted that Africa’s most populous country, was third worst globally in the numbers of people without access to basic sanitation.
Despite being sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest economy, it was also the sixth worst in addressing open defecation, with the percentage of people defecating in the open increasing from 22.6 per cent in 2000 to 25.5 per cent in 2015.
It noted that the sanitation crisis had contributed to the deaths of nearly 60,000 children annually from related diarrhoeal diseases. It added that the proportion of people without basic sanitation had also gone up, as two thirds of schools were without decent toilets.
Abdulmalik said: “We need urgent action to turn this situation around. Addressing the sanitation crisis with particular focus on the needs of women and girls will help lift entire communities out of poverty.”
WaterAid appealed to the government to prioritise investment in the sanitation sector, noting that sanitation was the responsibility of individuals, property/homeowners, families, work groups, unions and associations, civil society organisations, the media, the private sector, and government at all levels.”
It also stressed the need to invest more money and spend it efficiently, paying particular attention to the needs of women and girls, promoting the value of sanitation for gender equality and female empowerment.
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