Samuel Bello, Abuja
In a bid to tackle continuous open defecation the Federal Government has said it will reinstate local environmental officers, to monitor the act across the country.
Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Leon Aliboh, said this, in Abuja, at a press briefing, yesterday, ahead of World Toilet Day, holding on November 19.
In his response to why local sanitary enforcement agents have not been working for decades, he assured Nigerians that government, at federal level, has started to work hand-in-hand with all state ministries of environment, to curb the menace.
“We’ve started working on how to reinstate all local environmental officers that would see to open defecation because Federal Government can’t do it alone. It is the responsibility of local government and they have allocation for that.
“Access to sanitary facilities remains a mirage to a vast majority of our citizenry. Today, 4.5 billion people in the world live without safe toilets and 892 million people still practice open defecation, as many people still use the bush and water bodies as their regular means for excreta disposal,” he said.
He said the persistent recurrence of annual incidences of cholera outbreak in some of States and the occurrence and recurrence of other excreta-related diseases are also manifestations of inadequate toilet facilities.
Speaking further, the minister noted that the recent declaration of State of Emergency on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the country by President Muhammadu Buhari was aimed at addressing sanitation challenges, including ending open defecation in the country.
The United Nations General Assembly, in 2013, had separated November 19 of every year to mark World Toilet Day, with a view to raising awareness and inspiring action to tackle global sanitation crisis.
However, Federal Government disclosed that it has concluded all arrangements to sensitise Nigerians during this year’s World Toilet Day.