Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
No fewer than 47 million Nigerians are engaged in open defecation across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The disclosure was made when the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, ordered immediate enforcement of operation one-house-one-toilet in the state, for sustainable hygienic aimed at improving the health status of residents.
Fayemi who said Ekiti had keyed into the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme of President Muhammadu-led-Federal Government said the government would spend N9.6 billion on the programme, which will be done in partnership with corporate bodies, traditional institutions and other critical stakeholders.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu and Governor Fayemi spoke, yesterday, during the launch of the Ekiti State Open Defecation Free (ODF) roadmap and flag off of clean Nigeria: Use the toilet Ekiti campaign in Ado-Ekiti.
Fayemi said in a couple of months, the Ero dam that will supply water to nine local government will begin operation in full throttle, disclosing that the World Bank is partnering with Ekiti to carry out turn around maintenance on the Dam.
To help the ODF roadmap and target, Governor Fayemi declared immediate enforcement of one-house-one-toilet across Ekiti.
“Henceforth, all government offices must have one functional toilet while there must be one toilet in every public and private offices across the state.
“All traditional rulers should be champions in their domains and Ekiti Rural Water Supply Agency (RUWASA) should propagate the WASH policy across the 16 council areas.” At the campaign tagged: “Making Ekiti State ODF by 2022”, wife of the governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi , was decorated as WASH Ambassador, while the traditional rulers are to be champions of the policy in their domains.
The minister appalauded Governor Fayemi for setting a target that is three years behind the national schedule for ODF, describing it as a clear demonstration of commitment to make the country regain its respect globally.
“We are also not unaware that the national action against open defecation requires private sector, civil society organisations, government at all levels to achieve it zero level. This is critical to us as a government, because we have to provide the political will and public financing to fight the menace and bring down the practice. We want to assure you that my Ministry will support you in ensuring that you hit your target of making Ekiti achieve ODF status in 2022.”