- The FCT Water Board boss also suggested that everyone in school, healthcare facilities, workplace and public places should have access to a safe toilet.
Mr Kassim Ali, the Chairman of FCT Water Board has called on the Federal Government to expedite action to address the issues of sanitation and open defecation across the country.
Ali made the call in his presentation at the ‘1st Engr Umar Jibrin Distinguished Annual Public Lecture titled “prioritising Development of Sanitation Infrastructure Towards Eliminating Open Defecation in the FCT” on Friday in Abuja.
The public lecture was organised by Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, a division of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to honour Jubrin for his meritorious services to the engineering sector in FCT and Mark his birthday.
According to Ali, access to basic sanitation services is still a major challenge in Nigeria.
“As of 2018, about 112 million people lack access to basic sanitation services and almost a quarter of the population practice open defecation.
“Over the years, government made frantic efforts to ensure access to sanitation service and discourage open defecation but its efforts did not show significant progress.
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“Thus, universal access to toilet that safely contain excreta and elimination of open defecation should be prioritised by governments at all levels, ensuring that progress is equitable and in line with the principle of the human right to water and sanitation.
“Sanitation interventions should ensure coverage of entire communities with safe toilets that address technological and behavioural barriers to use,” Ali said.
He stressed that sanitation workers should be protected from occupational exposure through adequate health and safety measures and also sanitation campaign to give strong emphasis on Information, Education and Communication.