Mr Sulieman Adamu, the Minister for Water Resources, has urged Nigerians to take the issues of open defecation seriously as it concerns everyone.
Adamu made this call in Abuja on Tuesday while delivering a lecture on the theme: “Stopping open defecation’’ organised by the Faculty of Engineering, University of Abuja.
He said that in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria with the highest population has about 47 million people defecating in the open and ranks second in the world.
“It is as a result that Mr President, on Nov. 8, 2018 declared a state of emergency in the sector with emphasis that Nigeria must end open defecation by 2025.’’
He said that tackling the problem of open defecation in Nigeria “is everyone’s business and not for the government alone.’’
“We all must work together to tackle the problem.
According to him, 86 per cent of disease cases are attributed to poor environmental sanitation,’’ he said.
Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) called on the university authority to include a programme in the institution for students to also be enlightened on open defecation.
He identified both sanitation and structural issues as barriers to the problem, adding that with good sanitation and structure, Nigeria would eradicate the problem by 2025.
Prof. Tochukwu Ogwueleka, the Dean, Faculty of Engineering in the institution said the essence of the event was to allow for synergy between the university and the industry.
Ogwueleka said that all hands must be on deck to tackle the problem and make Nigeria open defecation free.
“We will take the message down to other communities through public campaign so that Nigeria can be clean.