Open Defecation: GHARF, Water Aid advocate decent toilet facilities

Nigeria on Monday joined the world to mark world toilet day with the theme ’’When Nature Calls’’, calling on every family to have decent toilet facilities.

A recent released report on state of the world toilet day has rated Nigeria the worst in Sub-Saharan African and third in the world for having the most urban-dwellers living without a safe and private toilet.

To this end, the global health awareness research foundation, GHARF, in partnership with Water Aid Nigeria embarked on sensitization of people of Ezeagu local government area on the need to stop open defecation and embrace adequate sanitation.

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The awareness campaign which took-off from the Council’s Headquarters Aguobu-Owa to some roads in Ezeagu, through health centre and market axis, emphasized on the need for safe and clean toilets for every household.

According to UN, about 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet and 892 million people still practise open defecation and the impact of exposure to human faeces has a devastating impact upon public health, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.

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Declaring the campaign open, the Chairman Ezeagu LGA Chukwudi Ezinwa described health as paramount and pledged the council’s support to ensure maximum cleanliness in the area

Ezinwa represented by the Council’s Secretary, Cajethan Agu who said Ezeagu is one of the communities still struggling to stop open defecation, expressed optimism that the awareness campaign will go a long way in changing the minds of the people from such disgusting attitude.

The campaign leader, a staff of GHARF, Ebele Ofoma and head of Health Center Department, Martha Chiekezie who said World Toilet Day, declared by the United Nations, started in 2001 as part of efforts to end the global sanitation crisis, noted that the awareness is to ensure every home has decent toilet facilities.

They said Ezeagu as one of the 4 pilot local governments where GHARF in partnership with Water Aid is currently working will also be exposed to new water easy toilet to enable them have access to decent and affordable toilets.

According to her, WASH coordinators in Ezeagu will soon embark on door to door check of toilet facilities of every home and urged every family to use the opportunity of the new designed wet toilet for meeting their sanitation needs.

Some members of WASH including Getrude Ozoigbokwe and Vivian Eze who said choosing Ezeagu as one of the focal local government area is a welcomed development as the people still practice ODF, expressed hope that after the sensitization, the people will key into the programme as designed by GHARF and Water Aid to end ODF.

The campaign was simultaneously carried out in three focal LGAs including Isi Uzo, Uzo Uwani and Nsukka to address the issues of sanitation as well as encourage every household to own water and easy toilet facility which is affordable and durable.

Some members of the communities expressed gratitude for the new toilet system and called on governments to invest more in sanitation.

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