Federal Government is soliciting media partnership and buy-in to sensitize Nigerians on the need to embrace the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign’ and end open defecation by 2025.
Head, Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB), Federal Ministry of Information, Olumide Osanyipeju implores media practitioners to use their various platforms to support the campaign through writing compelling human interest stories which would encourage communities embrace use of toilets and end open defecation.
Osanyipeju spoke at the opening of a 2-day media dialogue on sanitation and the campaign to end open defecation focusing on the South West Zone organised by UNICEF and jointly sponsored by UKAID, European Union and the Federal Ministry of Information in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Do You Always Wash Your Hands?
The CRIB boss urged media writers to write compelling stories that would highlight reasons why Nigerians must stop open defecation.
According to him, “Your concerted efforts are needed to drive the cause further through your stories in order to address the gaps which have been identified to support sanitation and hygiene in our communities”.
He noted, “a well-researched and evidence based story written to draw special attention to the effects of fecal contaminated water to child growth and developments will elicit response from different level of stakeholders causing them to meet their obligations to children as duty bearers”.
Also speaking on the “Overview of Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” Campaign and Key findings from Community Dialogue, UNICEF Wash Specialist, Bioye Ogunjobi lamented the deplorable state of the environment due to large scale of open defecation status which makes Nigeria rank second in the world after India.
According to Ogunjobi, one out of every three Nigerians still openly defecates; a situation which puts 47m of the population at such dirty practice that makes the country ranks second among others in the world.
He said since the Presidential declaration of state of emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector last November, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from UNICEF Nigeria and inter-ministerial agencies, civil society organisations, the media, the private sector are leading the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign to end open defecation by 2025 and achieve universal access to safely managed sanitation.
He noted that the modest ambition of the campaign is targeting the achievement of about two million new toilets yearly between 2019 and 2025 in order to achieve the universal basic sanitation.
The impact of open defecation said Ogunjobi hinders one out of every four children “to exhibit stunting, with one out of every ten wasting due to frequent episodes of diarrhea and other water borne diseases”
The country says Ogunjobi loses about N455bn yearly to poor sanitation as a result of illness, low productivity, loss of learning opportunities among others.