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Ahead of 2025 Deadline, Nigeria records 117 LGAs As Open Defecation Free

*_Achieves only 15% of 774 LGAs_

*_No LGA is ODF in Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Kwara states_

Hauwa Ali

In a significant update on Nigeria’s sanitation efforts, Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, recently declared 12 local government areas as Open Defecation Free (ODF).
However, the challenge persists, with 657 LGAs across ten states still awaiting certification, underlining the urgency two years before the conclusion of the Clean Nigeria ODF campaign.
The states with pending ODF certifications, including Benue, Plateau, Kogi, and Kwara, demand focused interventions.
Notably, Kano State leads with seven newly certified LGAs: Kunchi, Gezawa, Ajingi, Karaye, Rimin Gado, Rano & Albasu. Katsina State also saw success in Kankara and Funtua LGAs, alongside Bayelsa (Kolokuma/Opokuma), Delta (Oshimili North), and Ogun (Ikenne).
Despite progress, the harsh reality remains – Nigeria, with a staggering population, grapples with over 46 million people still practicing open defecation. The adverse impact on the environment poses a severe threat to public health, with an alarming annual toll of 122,000 lives, primarily children under five, succumbing to preventable sanitation-related diseases.
The economic repercussions are equally dire, with Nigeria losing about 455 billion Naira, equivalent to 1% of GDP, due to poor sanitation, and a significant portion attributed to open defecation. Research highlights the correlation between open defecation and environmental degradation, further emphasizing the need for concerted efforts.
Recent data from WASH NORM reveals concerning open defecation rates in Kwara (64%), Plateau (61%), Ebonyi (58%), and Kogi (58%) states. Urgent and strategic measures are imperative to elevate these statistics and achieve a healthier, more sustainable Nigeria.

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