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Updated: Buhari to launch campaign against open defecation

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President Muhammadu Buhari will be launching a campaign against open defecation in the country. The campaign “Clean Nigeria, Use Toilet,” is to be launched at a date yet to be announced.

The campaign is part of the efforts to achieve an end to open defecation in the country by 2025.

About 47 million people still defecate openly in Nigeria according to records. Also, only 10 out of 774 local government areas have been certified open defecation free since the road map on sanitation 2016-2025 was launched by President Buhari.

The Minister of Water Resources, Suliaman Adamu, said this while briefing alongside State House Corespondent at the end of the marathon weekly Federal Executive meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the meeting which went on break twice.

Adamu said Nigeria has road map to end open defecation 2016-2025, adding that out of the 774 local government areas, only 10 are open defecation free.

He said, “Ten out of 774 local governments is very dismal but it is work in progress. But we have also made some progress as 20 to 21,000 communities in the country today are open defecation free. The problem is we still have 47 million people practicing open defecation and Nigeria has been moving up the ladder since 2012 from being number four or five in the world to having the ranking of number two. India is number one but India has been working to end open defecation, in the last four years they have taken over 500 million out of open defecation. And India plans to declare itself open defecation free by October 2019. Once that happens, Nigeria will become the number one country in the world that practices open defecation. You will all agree with me that this is an honour we do not want to have.

“So council approved a number of measures including the fact that Mr. President will launch the Clean Nigeria Campaign on a day to be decided. So our campaign is ‘clean Nigeria, use the toilet.

“The president and cabinet members are to become ambassadors of clean Nigeria campaign by providing the needed leadership and commitment for successful implementation of the campaign.

“We also hope to create a clean Nigeria movement and to harmonize ministerial activities so that we have a seamless approach regarding sanitization in the country.

“We are also requesting for annual budget of N10.6 billion to be approved, this is not money that will be taken out of budget alone, we will also have contributions from development partners, corporate world including leveraging on corporate social responsibility, grants and to mobilize Nollywood, youths, children, women etc.

“It will come with an executive order to give effect to the clean Nigeria campaign. All ministries are to establish specific budget lines and work plans to implementing their sector specific activities to end open defecation and improve sanitation in the country.

“The campaign will also involve state governments and households. We intend to use community led sanitation and hinging more on behavioural change rather than doling out money.”

The President had in November 2018, launched National Action Plan for Revitalizing the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), where he also declared a state of emergency on water and sanitation sector in Nigeria. An important aspect of the plan is for Nigeria to be open defecation free.

The National Plan of Action is a significant political milestone towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 to reach everyone, everywhere with clean water and decent sanitation by 2030.


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