By Ahmed Ahmed
Mr Ado Solomon Network of Society for Water and Sanitation NEWSAN in Bauchi has expressed dismay that the country is the world capital where people defecate openly.
He noted that India which has thrice the Nigerian population has attained Open Defecation Free (ODF) status with Nigeria now bearing the burden which, he argued, should not be so.
Addressing a press conference in Bauchi Tuesday in commemoration of the World Toilet Day, the NGO captain solicited the support of the media in Bauchi to be in the vanguard of ensuring the use of safe toilet become the habits of the people of the state.
Recalling that two of the twenty LGAs in the state, Dass and Warji have already been satisfied as open defecation free, Solomon said that it is the desire of Water-Aid Nigeria that the remaining 18 LGAs will be ODF satisfied.
He revealed that about six million population of Bauchi state, 3.9 lacks access to clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene services, which impact on diseases could not be told.
Solomon further stated, “It is not about ignorance, it is not about illiteracy, it is about attitudes, our attitudes must change so that we do the right things”.
The Spokesperson then challenged the media to hold government accountable with multi-sectoral approaches to ensure that things are done accordingly, citing example with budget implementation.
He also stressed the need to encourage entrepreneurs to provide commercial conveniences in public places like the motor parks, markets, hospitals, among others, in the bid to enable people have access to toilet facilities in their vicinity.
Solomon further told the media, “Focus on communities, write stories that could help us, set the agenda for our leaders, challenge them to do what they are supposed to do, except we do that the future of our children will be very bleak.”
Mr Solomon queried, “Is Nigeria which is a signatory to the SDG goals really on the path of achieving the goals? We are the poverty capital of the world, we are the open defecation capital of the world, and everything bad is Nigeria. I don’t think that is what we are meant to be”.
He however expressed the belief that God has destined Nigeria to be the best country in the planet earth, and therefore challenged the press to be among the vanguard in making the country the greatest on earth.