Govt tackles poor sanitation, to end open defecation by 2030
The Federal Government has set a 2030 target for the improvement of the nation’s poor sanitation and ending open defecation by providing adequate toilet and water facilities.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this in Abuja at this years’ World Toilet Day, themed: ‘Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change’ in Abuja
He stressed that government’s attention has been drawn to the fact that climate change is getting worse.
The minister explained that seven years ago, the United Nations raised the alarm that billions of people are living without access to safely managed sanitation.
The threat, he said, underscores the necessity for global technological sound structures to be put in place for containment, collection and treatment of human waste for proper waste management and sanitary hygiene practices in the country.
According to him, the commemoration presents an opportunity to bring to the front burner, the challenges of poor sanitation, open defecation and how climate change is threatening the sanitary system with associated health consequences.
“Today, about 4.2 billion people of the world live without safe toilets and about 47 million Nigerians are still practicing open defecation, hence many people still use the bush, and water bodies as their regular means for excreta disposal”, he said.
Abubakar further disclosed the ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for Science and Environment on technology transfer, technical assistance, capacity building, and research on water, sanitation, and environmental management.
The Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, explained that sustainable sanitation begins with a toilet that effectively captures human waste in a safe, accessible and dignified setting. “The waste then gets stored in tanks, the next stage is treatment and safe disposal,” she added.
She also noted that climate change is now threatening the sanitation system with associated health and environmental consequences, adding that everyone must have clean water and hand washing facilities to help protect and maintain our health securely.
A representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Edwin Isoto-Edeh, said water, sanitation and open defecation in Nigeria was not encouraging, pointing out that there are more rooms for improvement to meet with the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030.