FILE PHOTO: Open defecation

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Sunday said it would no longer tolerate the practice of open defecation in Jabi Motor Park, as measures were on to construct more toilets.

Mr Jibrin Shaba, Director, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, FCTA, said this at an event to commemorate the 2017 World Toilet Day organised by the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS) in Abuja.

He said that the hygiene situation of the park was worrisome as it was also a cause of concern to the administration.

“Open defecation is so rampant here, it’s so bad when we complete the toilets, enforcement will begin, the practice of open defecation here is an eyesore, FCTA will not tolerate this practice anymore.

“We are also calling on the transport operators to use the available toilets, why would people resort to defecating in the open, when we came in here today, the smell is unbearable. ”

Shaba said access to public toilets is key to ending open defecation, adding that there was the need for citizens to take ownership of their hygiene to prevent diseases and illnesses.

Mrs Elizabeth Ugoh, NTGA Representative, said the World Toilet Day is an avenue to create awareness on the importance of access to sanitation and toilets.

Ugoh said Hand washing is key to breaking the cycle of illnesses and disease transmission, adding that the negative impact of faecal-oral transmission of diseases on food and water can be reduced.

She said building and using toilets at all times had a greater value and advantage to manpower development and overall hygiene promotion.

The representative added that the federal ministry of water resources has committed to ending open defecation practices with the implementation of the National Roadmap on Ending Open defecation by 2025 and hygiene promotion campaigns.

Mr Nature Obiakor, Coordinator, Youth Water Sanitation and Hygiene, an NGO, said the group was working to raise the profile of sanitation and in the FCT through continuous advocacy.

He said the Toilet for All Campaign was focused on encouraging citizens to take ownership of scaling up hygiene and sanitation by ensuring that they build and use their toilets.

“We are carrying out advocacy to ensure government at all levels to invest more in building toilets in public places such as schools, markets, churches, mosques and parks.”

Obiakor added that there was the need for promotion of Handwashing at critical times to prevent diseases and illnesses, especially in under-five children.

Also speaking, Mr Benson Attah, National Coordinator, Society for Water and Sanitation, said millions of citizens were without access to toilet facilities which belong to the first stage of the sanitation systems.

He said access to water, sanitation and hygiene was no doubt the “gateway” to both development and under-development, hereby imploring all levels of government in Nigeria to embrace it.

According to the UN, 4.5 billion people globally live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.

The World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis, the theme focuses on Wastewater as it shows how human waste spreads killer diseases.