An international non-governmental organisation, WaterAid, has called for erection of toilets in schools, markets, parks and along highways nationwide so as to discourage open defecation.
Mr Saheed Mustafa, Advocacy and Partnership Manager of the organisation, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, in Abuja.
He attributed open defecation among estimated 40 million Nigerians to absence of public or mobile toilets at strategic locations.
‘’Right now Nigeria is going through what we consider `a sanitation crisis.
‘’Every time we measure progress, we find out that instead of going forward we are actually going backward.
“As at 2015, about over 100 million people still don’t have access to improved sanitation.
“About 40 million of them are still practising open defecation.
“And when 40 million people go outside to defecate, it is a big issue and of course that leads to health issues.
“This also leads to about 68,000 under –five children’s death every year because they don’t have access to water and sanitation.
“Government needs to sit up and take action;we have opportunities to take action now based on the newly developed global goals that now have water and sanitation as a target goal on its own.”
Mustafa urged government to formulate policies that would check the spread of common diseases as a result of open defection.
He stressed the need for government at all levels to have a budget line for sanitation as doing so would help to eliminate practices such as open defecation.
“We say water is life and sanitation is also life, without sanitation we cannot live healthy and part of the solution is government to actually budget for sanitation.
“We can also get laws and policies in place that will help ensure that people will build houses, and they build a latrine with them.
“It’s also a problem for government to create a budget line for constructing public toilets that is very important.
“When people feel the need to defecate and they don’t find a safe place to use, no matter how enlighten you are, if you don’t have a safe place to defecate, you will defecate in the open.
“So government has to also look at how they can construct latrines in public places like Schools, markets, parks, on the roads where people who are travelling can stop and actually use.” NAN

READ ALSO  Benzema ruled out of Madrid - Juventus clash