As about 47million Nigerians still defecate openly, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday, stressed the role of media in combating the menace in the country.
Speaking at a two day media dialogue on sanitation, organized by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information & Culture in collaboration with UNICEF, the agency’s Communication Specialist, Geoffrey Njokwu, said the workshop is aimed at creating awareness about “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign and mobilize resources to sustain the national movement.
UNICEF’s WASH Specialist, Bioye Ogunjobi, while presenting an overview of the Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet campaign said 33 million more Nigerians in the country also use unimproved toilets.
Giving the breakdown according to regions, Ogunjobi said, “53.9 per cent of the people are in the North Central, while South West has 28 per cent, North East 21.8 per cent, North West 10.3 per cent, South East 22.4 per cent and South South 17.9 per cent”.
In his analysis of the poor sanitation situation in the country, Ogunjobi said UNICEF is working to change a situation where 64 per cent have access to basic drinking water services, and only 42 per cent have access to basic sanitation.
He added that “20 per cent have fix place for hand washing with soap and toilet, while only six per cent of schools have basic gender sensitive WASH services, only 5 per cent of the country’s health facilities have basic gender-WASH sensitive services.”
According to him, UNICEF is working with the European Union (EU), DFID and other partners to ensure that the 47 million Nigerians use the toilet and stop open defecation, and also to increase access to improved sanitation, especially in the rural areas.
He informed that UNICEF has provided 1.7 million access to improved water facilities and 2.2 million people have access to improved toilets.
“1,227 schools and 599 primary healthcare centers have been equipped with WASH services. 3,908 communities supported to become certified open defecation free through community approach. 2.4million have benefited from UNICEF’s hygiene promotion improved distribution of hygiene supplies.”
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