WaterAid Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Michael Ojo has said 121 million people representing about 72per cent of Nigeria’s population do not have basic toilet to use and nearly 40 million still defecate in the open.
This lack of access to basic sanitation, Ojo said, harmed the health of children and often leaves a lifetime legacy of disease and poverty.
The Country Representative, who gave the statistics during a recent high level media round table breakfast to commemorate World Toilet Day in Abuja, noted that the theme of this year’s World toilet day, which is ‘Quality and Dignity’ could not have come at a better time than now.
He said: “Those children need our government to collectively step up and commit that by 2030 no home, no hospital or school will be without a toilet and clean water.”
According to him, the open letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, coincides with a new briefing released by WaterAid: ‘Child of Mine’ which states that sanitation ‘remains one of the most neglected issues in developing countries and international development aid’.
“This is despite a quarter of the 162 million children globally who have had their growth stunted and their physical and cognitive development impaired, because they suffered repeated bouts of diarrhea when very young”, he stated.
Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, 88per cent of cases of diarrhea are caused by lack of access to basic sanitation, unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene provision.
Globally, over 12 million children are estimated to have died from 2000 to 2013 because of diarrhea diseases, of these deaths, 10.6 million have been as a result of a lack of these services.
WaterAid Nigeria, therefore called on the government to commit to becking a new goal for everyone to have access to clean water and basic sanitation by 2030.
In his correspondence to WaterAid, the Executive Director of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Development Agency, Dr. Ado Mohammed noted that, “poor sanitation, hygiene and lack of clean water contributes to the deplorable health conditions especially among children and women in Nigeria.
In view of this and the goal of Federal Government to eradicate transmission of the Wild Poliovirus in Nigeria at the end of the year, Ado stressed that polio is an oral feacal disease thriving under poor hygiene and sanitation conditions as well as an unavailability of clean water sources,
“We lend our voice to the call for universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene”, he said. -ThisaDayLive