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A United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) projection on Wednesday has suggested that Nigeria would in less than two months surpass India as the capital city of open defecation has surfaced.
UNICEF’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH specialist, Bioye Ogunjobi made the revelation at a media dialogue on sanitation in Calabar organized by UNICEF tagged ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign’.
With over 47 million still practicing open defecation in the country, out of which 16 million live in the North Central region , Ogunjobi added that India which at the moment held the position of the highest defecation, would relinquish the spot for Nigeria by October when open defecation would be outlawed in that country.
Ogunjobi said, “By October 1, 2019, India which at present occupies that position will ban open defecation and Nigeria which currently occupies the second position will take over from India as the number one open defecation country.”
The report which is aimed at achieving an Open Defecation Free Nigeria by 2025 shows that one in four Nigerians (24.4%) defecate in the open while one in two persons in the North Central alone, defecate in the open.
According to the report, after the North Central with 59.9 per cent, the South West region came second at 28.0 per cent, followed by the South East at 22.4 per cent, North East 21.8, South South 17.9 and North West at 10.3 per cent in Nigeria
The reasons that have been given for people who don't use toilets have either been poverty that makes it a challenge to build latrines or lack of government support in providing such facilities. In cases where the toilets are available but people still end up preferring opened defecation, the reasons can extend to cultural issues related with sharing toilets among family members.
By: Samuel Mayowa