The federal government says that it is seeking collaboration with the private sector to key into the Clean Nigeria – use the toilet campaign to end open defecation by 2025.
Acting Coordinator of the Clean Nigeria campaign, Mrs. Chizoma Opara, a programme under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, made this known in an interview in Abuja.
Daily Times reports that statistics show that 47 million Nigerians practice open defecation, making the country second globally behind India which has the highest number of people involved in the practice.
However, India is set to be declared open defecation free by October, which will make Nigeria the number one country involved in the unhealthy practice in the world.
Mrs. Opara said that the call to end open defecation has become necessary as all hands must be on deck to create the required awareness in the country, asserting that “we are expecting everybody to actually key into the campaign, the government cannot do it alone.
“Government will do its bit; our development partners also will give support to the campaign, likewise the private sector. We also need the private sector to key into it and one would ask how do they key in? We need to create awareness. The UNICEF has actually provided support, where we have been able to talk to one or two private people.”
According to her, the private sector forum will be considered for the exercise by being the ones taking the lead and talking to other private sector entities.
She said that water, sanitation and hygiene would be considered as corporate social responsibility under such arrangement with the provision of public toilets in schools and health institutions.
“We need them to key into this campaign; and that is the only way that Nigeria can actually work toward achieving the 2025 deadline of open defecation free,” she said.
Opara said the official roll-out of the campaign would soon be launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.