Group moves to halt open defecation in Ekiti towns
A new European Union programme that involves construction of model public toilets has been launched in Ekiti West and Gbonyin Local Governments, Ekiti State under its Water Supply and Sanitation Reform Programme (WSSSRP) III.
The project being implemented by Bread of Life Development Foundation in collaboration with the Ekiti State Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, Gbonyin Local Government, and Ekiti West Local Government.Known as ‘Farewell to Open Defecation’, it aims to strengthen water and sanitation (WASH) governance institutions; increase prioritisation and funding of WASH sector by public and non-public actors and access to sustainably managed, safe sanitation WASH facilities in 14 Small towns in the councils.
Ekiti state has a safe sanitation coverage of 32per cent in rural and small towns, and 38per cent in urban towns; open defecation which is 68per cent, is the highest in the south west, Nigeria according to State Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) policy.
In Gbonyin local government, a UNICEF 2014 survey shows that 92per cent of the communities are without public latrines; and in Ekiti West local government, 124 communities do not have any form of public latrines according to the Ekiti West WASH profile, 2014 report.
The project will result in the construction of modern public toilets in towns between October 2018 and May, 2019. The benefitting towns are Iluomoba, Agbado, Egbe, Imesi, Ijan, Aisegba, and Ode in Gbonyin LGA; and Erio, Ido-Ile, Ipole-Iloro, Aramoko, Oke Imesi, Erinjinyan and Ikogosi in Ekiti West LGA
The public toilets also known as integrated Sanitation Demonstration Units (SDUs) will be constructed in either a motor park, bus stop, garage, or market place; and comprise two blocks of three compartment pour flush toilet, urinals, handwashing facilities, bathing room, laundry, car wash, a sani centre, solar powered motorised borehole, and 3 prepaid meter public water standpoints.
The project will also support the sanitation task groups in the two LGAs to discuss and address WASH governance issues particularly policy, regulatory, legal, institutional, and financial framework for accelerated access to safe sanitation ; facilitate several media based high level advocacy to key public and non-public service providers towards prioritising sanitation and mobilising financial resources for safe sanitation in the two LGAs; support the two LGAs Sanitation Task Groups to organise WASH public enlightenment meetings quarterly; and mobilise community leaders in the LGAs on strategies of accelerating safe sanitation and hygiene practices in the 14 small towns.
The constructed public toilets will be handed over to Public Toilet Management Committee (PTMC) for sustainable management, while private operators will be locally recruited to suitably operate and maintain the Public toilets through innovative public contracts. The public toilets will be operated using a business model, and revenues realised from user charges will be deposited in a sanitation Revolving Fund, which is a financing mechanism for development of sanitation infrastructure in the small towns, at household and institutional levels.
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