TACKLING OPEN DEFECATION IN NIGERIA SHOULD BECOME EVERYONE’S BUSINESS – WATER MINISTER.
The need for behavioral change in order to attain Open Defecation Free is paramount in achieving quality access to basic sanitation and hygiene, health, education attainment, productivity and socio-economic well-being of the people as well as development of a nation.
The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu while presenting a lecture on ‘Stopping Open Defecation’ at the first public lecture organized by University of Abuja, Faculty of Engineering said there is need for attitudinal change so as to attain Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025 as it affects everyone.
“Achieving a clean Nigeria devoid of open defecation and its attendant negative impacts requires all hands to be on deck, it requires everyone propagating the message and championing the cause”, he said.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Engr. Bunu Sheriff Musa, a former Minister of Water Resources expressed his regret noting that the people who are largely within the rural communities are suffering from poor hygiene. “They defecate in the open because of lack of toilet facilities”, he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Professor Abdulraheed Na’Allah represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Professor Sani Adams appealed to the Federal Government to consider bringing in experts from the academia on board in pursuit of the Ministry’s mandate to bring about sustainable clean Nigeria.
The Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Professor Tochukwu Ogwueleka expressed his pleasure on the Minister’s reappointment and said that the Faculty is motivated by the Minister’s visionary leadership, adding that the theme of the lecture is of public interest.
The representative of UNICEF, Mr. Zaid Tugi while delivering his goodwill message said access to clean toilet also means protecting the people’s dignity. He urged the government to make the private sector get involved so as to sustain WASH facilities.
The Public lecture was attended by Director-Generals of Federal Government Agencies, Directors and staff of the ministry, the Academia and students of the University.
Kenechukwu Offie (Mrs)