Open defication: Minister decries negative implication of open defication …Says Nigeria loses about N455 Billion annually to poor sanitation

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By David Okpashi

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, Wednesday faulted the negative implication of open defication prevelence in many states of the Federation.

Adamu who spoke at a one day sensitization of residents of Nasarawa state in Lafia, disclosed that Nigeria loses about ₦455 Billion GDP annually due to poor access to sanitation.

Represented by the National Coordinator, Clean Nigeria Campaign, Chizoma Opara, Adamu said Nigeria is the second country after India with child deaths due to diarrhea and other deceases.

“Nigeria loses about ₦455 Billion of her GDP annually to poor access to sanitation. Nigeria is the second country after India with the most child deaths due to diarrhea.

“There are about 102,000 under 5 child deaths which occurs each year. So, the issue of open defecation should be taken seriously so that we can tackle these challenges,” the minister stated.

The minister appealed to all residents of Nasarawa State to embrace the use of toilets instead of passing feaces in bushes and other open places to Avert the spread of deceases in the state .

Earlier, National Orientation Agency had said the sensitization programme of the agency was designed to take the fight against open defication to Nasarawa State warning the residents to desist from the acts.

According to NOA, residents were also sensitized on the adverse effect of open defication across the 13 Local Government Areas of the State to avoid polluting the environment and spread of diseases.

Speaking at a One-day sensitisation programme on “Open Defecation-Free Nigeria” in Lafia, Director General of NOA, Garba Abari, decried the impact of the unwholesome practice that had caused various diseases including diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, among residents of the state.

The NOA DG who blamed high rate of death of Children under five, poverty, high cost of treatment of the diseases said the National Orientation Agency was in Nasarawa to continue with it’s fight against open defication prevelence in the state.

“I am in Nasarawa State today for our continuous nationwide sensitisation campaign aimed at reducin Open Defecation Free Nigeria by year 2025.

“The issue of Open Defecation all over the world has assumed disturbing proportion because of its implications on public health. Open defecation is a condition where human faeces are disposed off in fields, forests, open streams, beaches, gutters and other open spaces.

“This Nationwide sensitisation campaign is aimed at redirecting behavioral attitude as well as improving, ensuring access to good water, sanitation and hygiene practices as a way to achieving the goal of making Nigeria Open Defecation free by 2025.”

Speaking also at the sensitization programme, Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, expressed gratitude to NOA and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for their efforts towards ensuring that open defection is eradicated in the country.

Sule, represented by the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, Nuhu Oshafu, urged the participants to fully participate and actively contribute to the discussions in order to have the required knowledge to proffer a lasting solution to the unwholesome practice in the state.

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