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Delta Environment Ministry  Embarks on Campaign Against Open Defecation  



As part of the efforts of the State Government to prevent Open Defecation (OD) especially in the rural areas and public places, the Ministry of Environment has embarked on sensitization/awareness campaigns on sound environmental sanitation practices with the aim of promoting safe and healthy living among Deltans.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr Precious Anuku disclosed that the campaign was a part of the activities to mark the National Environmental Sanitation Day (NESD) Commemoration which was a creation of the 2005 National Environmental Sanitation Policy, Guidelines and Action plan.

Mr Anuku revealed that the policy, guideline and action plan was launched by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo after wide consultation and brainstorming sessions which was approved by the Federal Executives Council (FEC).

In this years’ commemoration with the theme, “Stop Open Defecation for Healthy Living” Mr Anuku stated that the State Government has also constructed Ventilated Improved Pit Toilets in rural areas and public places markets and motor parks  to discourage open defecation practices.

The Permanent secretary encouraged hand washing with soap or ash to prevent unwanted diseases, saying, “These unsanitary methods have tremendous effects on health of the public and the environment. States are encouraged to partner with the Private Sector to undertake activities that will translate to sustainable national development”

According to the Director, Sanitation and Waste Management in the Ministry, Mr Lucky Adah “It had been observed that Open defecation and urination are common practices everywhere in the Peri-urban centers where children as well as adults defecate indiscriminately at gutters or any available open space in the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning.”

“In urban areas some households with water carriage system pipe the raw sewage and sullage into the public drains, streams and rivers.”

He said that Nigeria is one of the top countries in the world whose citizens are involved in the practice of open defecation which has implication in many cases of cholera, diarrhea, hepatitis, polio and typhoid fever among other diseases in the country.

A top UNICEF official, Zaid Jurji had in 2007 stated that the Nigeria situation of sanitation was alarming but there was a roadmap that was supposed to make the country open defecation free by 2025.

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