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‘Nigeria Needs N959bn To Eradicate Open Defecation’



The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that about N959billion is needed to eradicate open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.

The Funds also stated that Nigeria loses N455 billon each year due to lack of sanitation.

Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at UNICEF, Zaid Jurji, made this revelation yesterday at a media dialogue on European Union (EU) Niger Delta Water Project organised by the Federal Minister of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Jurji expressed worry that Nigeria has been one of the top five countries involved in open defection in the world for the past 15 years, moving from fifth place in 2013 to second place in 2015.

According to him, one in every four Nigerians lack access to a basic toilet, adding that this huge number of Nigerians defecate in the open, with 32 per cent in rural areas and 39 per cent from the poorest households.

The WASH specialist further revealed that only 39 per cent of Nigerians use an improved toilet that is not shared by more than one household, even as he noted that whereas 140 million people have phones, only 97 million have access to improved sanitation.

Jurji also said that only 49 per cent of schools have usable latrines available for children, while only 37 per cent of health facilities have at least one usable toilet available for patients.

He therefore stressed the need for the federal and state governments to prioritise sanitation and to declare a state of emergency, pointing out that  the economic gains of  investing in sanitation could be about N359.1 billion (or $1.026 billion) each year.



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