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By Lukman Olabiyi
The Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Development Awareness (CESDA) has called for synergy among stakeholders in order to curb issue of open defecation and improper way of waste disposal in the country.
Mr Olusola Babalola ,Executive Director CESDA who called synergy among stakeholders, expressed concern over negative effects of open defecation on society and also listed five spots where people defecate openly in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja .
Babalola made the call during the lunch of “Say No Campaign Against Open Defecation” at the Jabi Park, Abuja.
Areas listed in Abuja as spot where people defecate openly by CESDA includes;Jabi park, Wuse market ,Utako market and utako park,Zone three , Gwarinpa to Kubwa and Zuba express way.
Babalola said that the reason the centre came to Jabi park was because the menace of open defecation in Nigeria have been on the increase .
” Quite a number of places have been mapped out as notorious for this practice especially in Abuja being the Federal Capital Territory of the nation.
“So we need to quickly stage action to stem the tide of open defecation and indiscriminate disposal of waste in Abuja .
” This prompted us to carry out a study, in the course of it ,we were able to map out the places that are notorious for open defecation .”
Babalola said that the centre engaged stakeholders and the public with the findings and recommendations from the study .
He said having identified Jabi park as one of the places for open defecation ,the centre decided to quickly kick start its campaign titled say no to open defecation in Nigeria.
He said that the centre was embarking on massive sensitisation of motorists and pedestrians to curb the menace .
Babalola said that the centre did some cleanup to lead by example and would ensure that the act was continued .
He added that the centre would work with members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the park .
He said that more than 20 of them would be trained as Advocacy Technical Team (ATT) park marshals after cleaning up the park to ensure that people stopped indiscriminate waste disposal and open defecation.
Babalola said that the centre was working with major stakeholders to see how to take the campaign forward .
He said that Jabi park was a pilot programme that woukd be extended to other parts of Abuja and the nation at large because
Open defecation posed a great danger to public health .
Mr Onyekachi Awalite ,Head Programmes ,CESDA said that one of the effects of indiscriminate waste disposal apart from its health effect was it causes flooding.
Awalite said that was why Jabi park area was always flooded during rainy seasons .
He said that open defecation also caused some health effect like respiratory diseases ,skin diseases , cholera among others .
Mr Lawrence Fadipe Organising Secretary ,NURTW, FCT chapter ,lauded the centre’s initiative to curb open defecation and indiscriminate waste disposal .
Fadipe said that the union would collaborate with the centre to curb open defecation and also step down the information to other chapters especially the national level .
Thus , he said was so that all the members would be aware because the condition of the park would now be better for all.
Mr Giwa Muhammed ,an NURTW member said that people who desecrate the park usually do it at night .
Mohammed said that henceforth ,NURTW members would monitor the park to curb the act.