The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, on Thursday, commended Jigawa as the first state to be declared Open Defecation-Free (ODF), having met all requirements stipulated in the protocol.
Mr Adamu said this at a world news conference in preparation for the 2022 World Toilet Summit in November.
He said that Jigawa had blazed the trail and deserved commendation for its dedication to the work of becoming ODF.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the National Task Group on Sanitation had declared the state ODF during an announcement, virtually at the NTGS monthly meeting.
NAN reports that before attaining the ODF status, communities would have eliminated open defecation and imbibed total sanitation practices, which include personal, environmental and domestic hygiene.
The communities would have also had 100 per cent toilet use and increased ownership and sustainability of hygiene and sanitation services.
The minister also commended the Clean Nigeria campaign team and UNICEF for their steadfastness to the National Roadmap of making Nigeria Open Defecation Free by 2025.
According to him, the summit which Nigeria is hosting is a platform for stakeholders, development partners and high-level decision-makers to better strategise and address in-country sanitation challenges.
“They will proffer solutions that will help to resolve the issues around open defecation. It is also a perfect opportunity to mobilise national engagement in the sector by different stakeholders, especially the private sector.
“It is important at this point to effectively communicate the activities lined up for the summit to all Nigerians and the other stakeholders across the world.
“With the hosting right granted to Nigeria, it is expected that it will be a massive boost to the campaign in such a way that the information about ending the menace of open defecation will be taken to all nooks and crannies of the country,’’ Mr Adamu said.
He said Nigeria was not relenting in its efforts in ensuring that all the 774 local government areas in the country are open defecation free.
Mr Adamu said that the summit would showcase lively discussions on behavioural change, new sanitation projects and programmes.
He, however, said Nigeria needs all the support it can get in ensuring that all initiatives gain traction, recognising the significant role of the private sector in boosting the sanitation value chain.
The minister said this would create a circular economy across the value chain which could boost the country’s economic indices and have positive impacts across other sectors.
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