Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo started the “Clean Nigeria – Use the Toilet” campaign in Edo on Friday in Benin, with the goal of ending open defecation in the state’s 18 LGAs by 2025.
The inauguration of the campaign, according to Obaseki, who was represented by the Edo Head of Service, Mr Anthony Okungbowa, was aimed at raising awareness among the state’s inhabitants.
“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, inclusive.
“My administration has put in place a machinery to eradicate open defecation in urban, semi – urban and rural areas, through the establishment of a Small-Town Rural Water Supply Sanitation Agency, (STRUWASSA) at the state level.
“The Water Sanitation and hygiene (WASH) department, at the Local Government Area, is part of the programmes for implementing Open Defecation Free (ODF) drive,” he said.
Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, urged the people of Edo to take ownership of and drive the campaign in their areas to help eradicate open defecation.
Adamu, who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Awe, Director of Water Quality and Sanitation, said that open defecation, which had a negative impact on women and girls, could be ended by concerted efforts.
Mrs Mercy Omoregie, the General Manager of STRUWASSA, said it was disappointing to see Edo listed among the states in Nigeria with the highest rate of open defecation.
Edo, on the other hand, will improve in its drive to exit the status and become a power to be reckoned with, according to Omoregie, with the help of development partners such as the European Union and UNICEF.
Mrs Akongie Oboh, the Permanent Secretary of the Edo Ministry of Water Resources, informed the audience that her ministry was working hard to guarantee that sanitation facilities were available in public locations.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN