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FG vows to make Nigeria open defecation free

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As part of efforts towards putting an end to open defecation, the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development says it will ensure Nigerians practice the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” policy.

The Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, said this in Abuja when the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu paid him a courtesy visit.

Dare disclosed this in a statement issued by Mohammed Manga, the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, on Thursday.

“My ministry will continue to collaborate with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as other stakeholders in line with the commitment of the ”Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign.

“The campaign was launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration in 2019,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria is ranked second among the nations in the world with the highest number of people practicing open defecation estimated at over 48 million.

“The practice has had a negative effect on the populace and has therefore contributed to the country’s inability to meet up with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Dare said that the abysmal ranking prompted Buhari to describe the statistics on open defecation and access to pipe-borne water services and sanitation as disturbing.

He said the situation made the President declare his commitment to implementing the National Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Action Plan in consonance with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Charter.

 He said that the ministry in 2021, held a nationwide Sensitisationprogramme, tagged, “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet”, which was carried out through lectures and training.

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Dare said others are the distribution of posters, installation of Billboards, and advertisements to educate Nigerians on the negative effects of open defecation with youth as vanguards to help drive the campaign further.

He identified the youth as central to the realisation of any policy objective of government.

Dare assured that his ministry would partner with the Water Resources ministry through the National Youth Service Corps scheme to further drive the policy objective using advocacy programmes.

Earlier, Adamu stated that he was in the ministry to seek collaborations on how to end open defecation in the country.

He called on all levels of government to continue to promote and prioritise disease control and prevention through adequate and equitable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene service.

Adamu said that such would curtail the spread of diseases while focusing on hygiene behavioural change intervention.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of youth, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, called for a collective approach in the fight against open defecation through sensitisation, advocacy, and public enlightenment across the country.

Also speaking, the Acting Director-General, NYSC, Mrs. Christy Uba, pledged the total commitment of the scheme to the campaign to ensure the realisation of the policy objective on open defecation.

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