UN Chief seeks toilets subsidies for rural dwellers
The introduction of subsidies, according to UNICEF’s Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Nigeria, Ms. Jane Bevan, will encourage vulnerable individuals in communities to construct and use their toilets.
Bevan told the News Agency of Nigeria that this would enhance their quality of life and help the nation achieve its 2025 goal of being free of open defecation.
She added that this can be incorporated into Community-Led Total Sanitation programs that aim to empower communities to take control of their hygiene during their triggering stages.
The WASH specialist stated that communities in intervention regions selected who was less fortunate and who received the subsidy, and that this had already started in two states.
Bevan stated that because many villages still lack toilets, this has negative effects such as illness outbreaks, including cholera and other ailments.
Bevan said; “Children suffer mostly during an outbreak of disease. This is the reason we must stop open defecation.
“We are thinking about introducing subsidies to encourage vulnerable people to build their toilets, we are working to do this through introduction of loans in Bauchi and Oyo states.”
Bevan noted that despite data from the Water Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping 2021 survey revealing that 48 million Nigerians practice open defecation, the problem of open defecation still exists.
“This data represents 23 per cent of the population, in spite of the efforts by government and partners at ending open defecation, the rapidly growing population is dwarfing the gains made so far,’’ she said.
According to the WASHNORM, only 10% of Nigeria’s population had access to basic integrated WASH services, and an estimated 48 million people continued to use open defecation.
In addition to seriously hurting the population’s health and security, this will make it difficult to achieve Sustainable Development Goal No. 6 as well.
Additionally, only a small percentage of people had access to WASH services in public areas and institutions, with respective rates of 11%, 6%, and 4% for markets/motor parks, schools, and healthcare facilities.
This shows that WASH programming in Nigerian institutions has been severely neglected, which has an effect on educational success, health care costs, livelihoods, and ultimately the nation’s economic growth.