UNICEF, EU Declare War On Open Defecation In Nigeria

Forty percent of over 2.5 billion people living under dire sanitation conditions globally, were engaging in open defecation, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and European Union have said.

The organizations also revealed that 1.8m Ekiti residents out of total population of 2.7m are engaged in the menace, representing about 60.8% aggregate nationally.

They made the disclosure in Ijero Ekiti, headquarters of Ijero local government area of Ekiti State during a 2-day media networking and alliance building workshop on water sanitation and hygiene and open defecation free campaign organized by the bodies at the weekend.

Mr Mohsena Islam, a WASH specialist from UNICEF, led the delegation on a field trip with
Ekiti Media WASH group to Asasa and Temidire Olojofi farm settlements in Aramoko Ekiti, to assess compliance with the campaign against open defecation .
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In her presentation, a Community Led Total Sanitation(CLTS) facilitator and a staff of Rural Water Sanitation Agency in Ekiti, Mrs Lanre Ayeni, lamented that 748 million of the global population, lack access to potable and hygienic water supply .

She expressed regret that 1.8 bn people still make do with contaminated sources of water, which according to her had caused a lot of damage to the health and body systems of the people.

“When you take a water that has been contaminated by faeces, the person will have ten million viruses, one million bacteria and one hundred thousand parasite eggs in her body system.

“Advocacy for open defecation free in Ekiti and good water sanitation is yielding results. Enforcement in the past by CLTS coordinators had failed . What we now use is persuasion and people are gradually changing .’’
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