Obaseki launches new campaign to improve sanitation, end open defecation
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Friday in Benin City, launched the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign to drive sustainable sanitation and end open defecation across the 18 local government areas of the state by 2025.
Obaseki, who was represented by the Edo Head of Service, Mr. Anthony Okungbowa, said the campaign will raise awareness and get more stakeholders involved in ensuring a serene, cleaner and safer Edo.
The governor noted: “The objective of what we are doing here today is to ensure that Edo people have access to adequate, affordable and sustainable sanitation facilities. Landlords are mandated to provide latrines in their homes, business premises and commercial apartments.
“My administration has put in place machinery to eradicate open defecation in urban, semi-urban and rural areas, through the establishment of the Small Town Rural Water Supply Sanitation Agency (STRUWASSA) at the state level.”
“Water Sanitation and Hygiene Wash Departments at the local government level are a part of the programmes towards implementing Open Defecation Free (ODF) drive,” he added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, implored the people of Edo to own and drive the campaign in their respective communities to help eradicate open defecation.
Adamu, who was represented by the Director, Water Quality and Sanitation, Mr. Emmanuel Awe, said the practice of open defecation which has a huge negative impact, especially on women and girls, could be stopped with everyone’s collective efforts.
Earlier in her welcome address, Mrs. Mercy Omoregie, the General Manager Small Town and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (STRUWASSA), said it is saddening to see Edo identified among states with the prevalence of open defecation practice in Nigeria.
Omoregie however, assured that with the support and collaboration of development partners such as the European Union and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the state would improve in its quest to exit the status.