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39.4 percent of FCT residents still defecate in the open- Experts

Bukola Afeni
Experts in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene sector (WASH)  said 39.4 percent of FCT residents still defecate in the open and called for behavioural and attitudinal change to curb open defecation.
They made the disclosure at a one day workshop on reviewing the design of Public toilets in Abuja.
The  findings is as a result of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASH NORM) II survey.
Speaking at the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister of State, Mohammed Usman, said the FCT administration is taking active steps to ensure that Abuja and the surrounding community is Open Defecation free by the year 2025.
He added that the FCT administration is working in conjunction with private sector to construct 2000  public toilets in all the six area councils.
“We want to maintain synergy among all stakeholders to ensure that we maintain open defecation free environment. We are optimistic that by the year 2025, there will be a tremendous change in the Federal Capital Territory.”
In the same vein,  he called for behavioural change among residents practicing open defecation.
The Head of Advocacy, Policy and Communications, Water Aid Nigeria, Kolawole Banwo said there is need for all stakeholders in the WASH sector to put an end to sanitation crisis in the country.
“It is important for all stakeholders  in the WASH sector  to ensure that there sustainable sanitation services in the country . Sanitation is a basic human right and we need to ensure that all the citizens have access to toilet services when  they are in open places”.
He further added that only only 15% of the health care facilities have good toilet facilities.
“We want stakeholders to adopt a toilet model that would accommodate the needs of women, and girls. We also want to  initiate partnerships that would facilitate the design, and construction of quality toilets”.
UNICEF Chief Water Sanitation who was represented by Mr Bioye Ogundeji said there is need to construct toilets that are gender friendly, where people can take their bath and perform other functions.
“When women are menstruating, we should ensure that there is more than one compartment that meets the need of the women utilizing the toilets “.
He added that People living Disabilities should be considered when designing toilets.

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