The Federal Government has introduced a plan to reduce the level of open defecation in Nigeria.
The plan was announced on Tuesday in Abuja during an event to mark World Toilet Day 2023 with the theme ‘Accelerating Change’.
In his speech at the ceremony, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Professor Joseph Utsev, emphasized the value of stakeholder ownership and teamwork, and stressed the need to move quickly on initiatives that promote a healthier and cleaner environment. .
He underlined the Ministry’s commitment to maximizing the social and economic benefits of the WASH sector.
Mr. Utsev also discussed the development of a national WASH policy and a specific national sanitation marketing strategy aimed at developing the supply side of the sanitation industry.
The Minister unveiled plans to identify profitable sanitation projects with diversified benefits to attract investment, in addition to continuing attempts to develop new financial mechanisms.
The minister said this measure would reduce the risks associated with private investment in the sanitation subsector.
Mr. Utsev recognized that improving access to sanitation services impacts the standard of living and overall quality of life of the population and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to this goal.
Speaking on hygiene as a key public health issue, he cited a 2012 World Bank study that showed how poor hygiene practices have an alarming negative economic impact, costing Nigeria an estimated N455 billion annually. We introduced the survey results.
The minister stressed that the enormous social consequences of inadequate sanitation include reduced privacy and dignity, and increased susceptibility to physical assault and violence, which disproportionately affects women and girls. did.
“This comprehensive approach not only addresses the economic impact, but also highlights the broader social and public health imperatives for a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous Nigeria. ” he said.