Buhari signs executive order to end open defecation
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday signed Executive Order 009 entitled ‘The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order’.The order, which takes immediate effect, came into being against the background of Nigeria’s rank as the second country with the highest number of people practising open defecation.
An estimated 46 million people defecate openly in the country, a practice that has a negative effect on the populace and contributed to the country’s failure to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations (UN).A statement from the presidency quoted Buhari as describing the statistics on open defecation and access to pipe-borne water and sanitation as disturbing, and had declared commitment to implement the national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan.
According to the statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president had declared emergency on the country’s WASH sector.It added that the action was imperative to reduce the prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country, which had caused preventable deaths.
Nigeria has committed to end open defecation by 2025 in consonance with her commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The order declared: “By this order, Nigeria is committed to being open defecation free by 2025.“The National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from other key sector players across Nigeria be put into effect.”
“All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government shall cooperate with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.“The National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly shall enact legislation on the practice of open defecation with appropriate sanctions and penalties.”
It added that all development projects should include construction of sanitation facilities as an integral part of the approval and implementation process.“All enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this Order.”
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