Dawn Agu, Abuja
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure that more toilets are provided in the FCT.
Bello stated this at a programme to mark the 2020 World Toilet Day organised by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) in collaboration with the FCT Administration in Abuja on Tuesday.
The minister, represented by the Chairman, AEPB, Yahaya Bawuro, said FCTA and AEPB were committed to ensuring that residents were sensitised on the need for toilets in every home.
Bello added that FCT would ensure that the public was enlightened on the need to use available toilets located in public places.
He noted that the safe reuse of human waste could help to save water, reduce and capture greenhouse gas emissions for energy production, and provide agriculture with a reliable source of water and nutrients.
Bello said all hands must be on deck to ensure Nigeria achieved sustainable sanitation in tandem with Sustainable Development Goal Six by 2030, so that everyone could have access to sustainable toilets.
The Director, AEPB, Dr Hassan Abubakar, said the board would continue to facilitate partnerships, advocacy, dialogue, and focused actions to push the sanitation agenda.
Abubakar said the board was working with strategic partners in the sector to ensure Abuja joined the world in meeting SDG Six and to effectively maximise the use of the resources that huge quantities of faeces generated everyday.
“We must realise that when nature calls, it is not time for us to defecate openly which is detrimental to the environment but it is time to replenish nature, add value to life and contribute to a sustainable ecosystem.
“We should understand the importance of toilet and its availability and keep reminding ourselves on the need to ensure universal access to toilets by 2030, he said.
Abubakar said it was the responsibility of everyone to save the environment and the earth, and make the possibility of a healthy and happy life on earth a reality.
Mrs Kate Ogbonna, Head, Department of Environmental Health and Safety, AEPB, said the board was intensifying efforts to create awareness in the FCT on open defecation and its implications to health and the environment
Ogbonna said the board worked with area councils and community leaders in creating awareness on the need to build more toilets and end open defecation in their communities.
She said the board carried out regular inspection of toilets in public places in the city centre to ensure compliance with health standards.
“We carry out regular inspection of public toilets in the city centre and if we find any defaulters, the AEPB Act gives us the power to take them to court, if they still refuse to comply after serving them a notice to clean up the toilets,” Ogbonna said.