UNICEF stresses on the need for access to good toilets

Says poor hygiene practices causes diseases

By Suzan Edeh, Bauchi

The United Nations Children Fund(UNICEF) has stressed on the need for access to good toilets in the country, saying that poor hygiene practices surrounding the use of toilets are one of the common causes of diseases.

Dr. Clement Adams, Officer-in-Charge/Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Nigeria Bauchi Field Office stated this during a Media Dialogue on World Toilet Day 2023 with theme “Accelerating change, taking Simple Actions to bring about Change”, organized by UNICEF Bauchi Field Office in collaboration with the Bauchi State ministry of Water Resources and Bauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA),held at Jamil Hotel, Azare in Open Defecation Free Validated Katagum Local government.

He said that 48 million Nigerians in the country still practice open defecation, stressing that stakeholders in the WASH sector of the country needs to redouble their efforts in ensure that defecating in the open is reduced to the barest minimum.

“The World Toilet Day is celebrated every year to bring attention to the undeniable importance of safe and hygienic toilets in our daily lives, especially in terms of health, education and of course, socio-economic development”

“This year, the WTD is themed “Accelerating Change” to highlight the journey towards achieving “SDG 6- Clean Water and Sanitation”. We are about seven years away from 2030 – the global target for the SDGs. We must therefore reinvigorate our efforts if we must meet the sanitation target of SDG 6 – safe toilets and water for all by 2030”

“The access to safe and clean toilets prevents the spread of diseases; the access to safe toilet means children, especially girls, and women are protected from the risks of attacks and abuse if they had to go into bushes to defecate; access to basic WASH services is integral to school enrolment, attendance, retention, and completion – the benefits are numerous,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Nuhu Zaki said that the state government is determined to work for the actualization of SDG 6.2 target and overall the attainment of state wide ODF by 2025, adding that the state government delivered 8 local government as Local government Open Defecation Free to include Dass, Warji, Shira, Gamawa, Bogoro, Ganjuwa, Toro and Katagum LGAs.

“5,934 communities were delivered ODF while two other LGAs were at different levels of becoming ODF that is Bauchi and Zaki LGAS.One of the sustainability process is the training of private entrepreneurs on sanitation marketing for improve latrine construction at household and public places like markets and motor parks, where 194 toilets business owners, (TBOs), 582 masons and 116 toilet”

“Awareness were created through promotional activities by the government and toilet business owners on the need of improve latrine uptake and there is high demand for improve latrine by household, however, inadequate funds from household and TBOS becomes a bottleneck.”

“These TBOS were hand holded and linked to micro-finance institutions where they access funds for improve latrine construction on revolving basis and for business expansion by the TBOs. The issuance of revolving loan to household by MFIs FastTrack improve latrine uptake. Construction and usage of improve latrine is a dignity, pride, disease prevention economy prevention of water pollution to all, I therefore, urge all to used improve latrine for fecal management,” he said.

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