Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouk, has urged Nigerians to use toilets for their defecation and thus lift Nigeria from the stigma of being a country with appalling open defecation pMinister of Humanitarian Affairs,
Nigeria was a little over a year ago rated as the country with the most people practicing open defecation, displacing India which improved by outlawing open defecation practice.
The minister, who spoke through her desk officer, Akintola Alisinloye, during a sensitization event at the Malkohi IDPs Camp in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State, said every Nigerian owes it as a duty to embrace use of toilet and pull Nigeria out of the ignominy of being the worst country for open defecation.
She added that using toilet was not just a matter of prestige for country and individuals but that open defecation causes more health issues than members of an affected community could realize.
“Feces defecated in the open come back to us through many ways on fecal-oral transmission routes,” she said, recalling research results which established that Nigeria loses N455 billion of GDP annually due to poor sanitation which results into illness and poor productivity.
The campaign to make Adamawa people use toilet instead of defecating in the open was supported by the North East Development Commission (NEDC) which provided household items that were handed to the hundreds of households at the Malkohi IDPs Camp.
In a message to the occasion, NEDC Managing Director, Mohammed Alkali, said the commission which has the mandate of providing resources for relief and development in the North East, decided to stand with the Humanitarian and Social Development ministry in its campaign to stop open defecation.
The NEDC MD said through one of his aids, Ali Ado, that though government and some NGOs have provided toilets for IDPs, IDPs have longstanding attitude of preferring open spaces to toilets, and that they need to be made to imbibe the spirit of using toilets to protect themselves from the communicable diseases that come from feces lying out in the open.