By Anastacia Eluwa, Asaba
The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has frowned at the high rate of open defecation in the country, saying that only 78 out of 774 Local Government areas are open-defecation free.
The minister spoke in Asaba during a two-day South-South Zonal Review meeting of the Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign, organized by Delta State Ministry of Water Resources Development in collaboration with Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency(RUWASSA).
The minister, represented at the occasion by the National Coordinator of Clean Nigeria, Mrs. Chizoba Okpara, expressed the hope that Nigeria would be free of Open Defecation by 2025.
According to him, most products in Nigeria cannot be exported because Nigerian is not meeting the requirement in terms of sanitation.
“If a country like India with the population of over 500 million can use five years in tackling open defecation, we can do better in Nigeria”, he noted.
He said further, “Our filling stations, hospitals should have toilets. It is necessary for state government to enforce the construction of public convenience in every building and infrastructure.”
He posited that enforcement authorities should collaborate with the Ministry of Water Resources for the success of the campaign against open defecation.
While declaring the South-South meeting open, Delta State Government assured of its support of Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign, saying it will continue to pay attention to the water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector in the state.
The State Government, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah said the efforts of the state government in the water supply, sanitation and hygiene had made the state to benefit from various intervention programmes.
He listed the programmes to include the European Union- Niger Delta Supply Support Programme (EU-NDSP), the United States Agency for International Development Effective Water Supply and Sanitation and Hygiene Programme (E-WASH), and the World Bank Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme (SURWASH), amongst others.