The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, said on Thursday that Nigeria needed additional two million toilets annually from 2019 to 2025 to achieve the Universal Basic Sanitation target.
Mr. Bioye Ogunjobi, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist for UNICEF, made this known at a media dialogue on sanitation campaign, with the theme: “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet”.
According to Ogunjobi, at the moment, Nigeria is delivering approximately 160,000 improved toilets annually, Daily Trust reports.
He, however, described the current effort as a drop in the ocean, saying that there was need for all stakeholders including the media to redouble efforts toward ensuring access to improved toilet facilities for the populace, especially those in underserved rural communities.
The meeting was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau, CRIB, of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture supported by European Union and UK Department for International Development – UKaid.
Delivering a paper on “Overview of” “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet campaign and key findings from community dialogue,” he identified the country’s current delivery of improved toilet facilities annually as grossly inadequate.
He, however, attributed the low access to toilet facilities as a contributing factor to the rate of open defecation in the country thereby impeding on national development.
Ogunjobi specifically noted that open defecation had an economic, social and health impact on national development.
According to him, economically, Nigeria loses about N455 billion of Gross Domestic Products, GDP, annually due to poor sanitation as a result of illness, low productivity, loss of learning opportunities, among others.