Open defecation: UNICEF, Ekiti set 2021 deadline target

The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and Ekiti government have set 2021 as the target date to end open defecation in the state.

The State Commissioner for Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Mr Bamidele Faparusi, announced this at a news conference in Ado Ekiti on Monday.

According to him, a memorandum of understanding with UNICEF had already been signed.

Faparusi said UNICEF was using two of the 16 local governments-Ekiti West and Gboyin-for the pilot scheme.

He disclosed that the two councils were now almost zero-free on open defecation with the provision of low cost toilet facility in every household.

The commissioner also said the state government would soon begin construction of public toilets across the remaining local government areas of the state.

He said the state-owned Rural Water Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) had also done baseline studies that would help the government in kick starting the programme in the local governments.

“We are working on the data provided by RUWASA and we shall work on it to be able to know the number of facilities to provide.

“Open defecation is dangerous to our hygiene and health, so we need to fight it headlong.It is an age long practice, we know it cannot stop in a day.

“We are also planning sewage processing facilities in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, that will enhance sanitation and we have a special roadmap to tackle these problems,” Faparusi said.

He also stated that the state government had already begun heavy investment in Ero and Egbe Dams, with massive reticulation initiatives in about nine local governments.

“Construction of mobile toilets is also in the pipeline, but all cannot be provided in a day. There will be mobile toilets for events. Our policy will address all these,” he said.

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