RIDDING NIGERIA OF OPEN DEFECATION SYNDROME — Nigerian Pilot News
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RIDDING NIGERIA OF OPEN DEFECATION SYNDROME

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There have been disturbing reports about the sanitary condition of Nigeria’s environment for years now, but little or no official attention is seriously paid towards addressing the situation because of the vicious circle of bad governance. We are thus compelled again to bring back this issue on this platform after repeatedly disregarded interventions.

For instance, the United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) had reported that, Nigeria ranks among worst countries in the world practicing open defecation. What this means is that Nigeria is dirty and it stinks.

Only last weekend at the 3rd Founder’s Day ceremony of Edo University, Iyamho, Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, validated this nauseating fact that the country would soon overtake India to become world’s leader in open defecation, actually the most smelling country on earth! “It is estimated that more than 48 million Nigerians practise open defecation and that placed Nigeria as the second in the world (behind India)”, he said.

This figure was almost corroborated by the 2018 National Outcome Routine Mapping, NORM, Report, which stated that, 47 million Nigerians defecate in the open while the country loses N455 billion (US$ 1.3b) annually due to poor sanitation. Of course, nothing was done or seen to be done seriously.

Aside India, Nigeria is infamously grouped with leading countries practicing open defecation such as Indonesia (54 million people), Pakistan (41 million people) Ethiopia (34 million) and Sudan (17 million).

Nigeria failed to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets for water supply and sanitation because of poor investments, low capacity, etc. Interestingly, African countries such as Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Namibia, and Gambia met their target on water. What is most unfortunate is that our governments are brazenly shameless.

It is indisputable that Nigeria cares less about environmental health of its citizens. In Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), for instance, the environmental condition has become an eyesore; it stinks badly. Prostitutes and beggars who were before chased out of the city have confidently returned. Orchestrated by biting economic situation, roadside and itinerant food and meat vendors are fully back.

In a feat of coldhearted irony, each time AEPB officials and security pretend to be on duty, they confiscate the wares, throw them into their vehicles, go and eat them as free food and throw the peels and water proofs away indiscriminately.

There are no public toilets in Abuja. Even several government offices have no enough toilets or the ones available are not enough, or they are poorly maintained.

It is evident that there are mounting refuse sites and open fields or space sandwiched between plush estates, residential areas, towering plazas, hotels, market places, roadsides, as well as around government offices, especially around the Federal Secretariat within the metropolis where people freely defecate and urinate any time they are pressed – defying warning signs. It is like that in Nigeria’s cities.

Many private developers and landlords also build houses without adequate water and toilet facilities for tenants. This ugly situation is similar in all Nigeria’s cities across the states.

When will the Federal Ministry of Environment and that of Water Resources team up to rid Nigeria of this embarrassing situation? What have they been doing with their budgets? Do we still have a functional National Orientation Agency? Is it not obvious that our federal law makers have been sleeping and snoring over their oversight duty? This calls for a serious national strategy and action and it should be treated as an emergency situation.

QUOTE

There are no public toilets in Abuja. Even several government offices have no enough toilets. The ones available are often not enough, or they are poorly maintained. It is evident that there are mounting refuse sites and open fields or space sandwiched between plush estates, residential areas, towering plazas, hotels, market places, as well as around government offices, especially around the Federal Secretariat within the metropolis where people (men and women) freely defecate and urinate any time they are pressed – defying warning signs

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