Although Our country is awash with landlords who build houses with little or no provision for toilets and tenants and citizen who simply don’t like using them India and not Nigeria is the world’s capital of open defecation according to the world Health Organization.
A previous post tend to assume that that Nigeria leads the world in this unenviable menace but available data paints a different picture. Even though the country is the most populated nation on the African continent Ethiopia with 38 million people practicing Open defecation is the top in Africa when it comes to open defecation according to the World health organization WHO.
There are several unwanted consequences of open defecation some of which we have witnessed this year with a cholera outbreak that claimed the lives of thousands, as a nation that prides itself as the wealthiest black nation on the planet there is an urgent need for us to improve sanitation and hygiene.
Nigeria made the top ten on the list mainly because
1. Our school management make no room for cleaning toilets as such our toilets although available are themselves disease spreading spots because its either there is no water or it is constantly dirty or unkempt.
2. Our Landlords in their greed build 30 rooms but only make provision for 2 – 3 toilets to serve close to 100 people
3. Our shops , markets and shopping plaza make little or no room for convenience where they are available maintenance is a disaster
4. Our youths especially men have become accustomed to zipping and unzipping anywhere to discharge feacal matter
5. Our women have learnt the terrible habit of dumping sanitary pads in WC which leads to the blockage of toilet system and constrain others to use the bush.
6. Some of our people just love to defecate in the open without recourse to the health consequences of doing so.
Global Statistics on Open Defecation
1. India (626 million)
2. Indonesia (63 million)
3. Pakistan (40 million)
4. Ethiopia (38 million)
5. Nigeria (34 million)
6. Sudan (19 million)
7. Nepal (15 million)
8. China (14 million)
9. Niger (12 million)
10 Burkina Faso (9.7 million)
11. Mozambique (9.5 million)
12. Cambodia (8.6 million).
Source : http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/monitoring/jmp2012/fast_facts/en/
Open defecation increases the risk of disease and child mortality, in many cases it doubles or triples the cost of health care promoting poverty by increasing lack. If we must remove Nigeria from the list of nations where Open defecation and related diseases is widespread then legislation must be put in place to punish landlords and schools heads and others who by their actions and inaction’s promote disease and open defecation practices .As citizens there is the need for all to join hands together with local health authorities and development partners like the WHO and UNICEF to eradicate this menace from our country
We must stop making headlines for all the wrong reasons, Eradicating Open Defecation in Nigeria is Possible.