Bauchi Community Achieves Open Defecation-Free Status Through Innovative Solutions
By Grace Samuel
In a remarkable feat, Katagum Local Government Area (LGA) in Bauchi State, along with seven other LGAs, has been officially certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF), joining the ranks of 105 LGAs in Nigeria to achieve this significant milestone.
The success is attributed to a concerted effort involving public awareness campaigns, the construction of toilets in public spaces, and the adoption of an innovative and hygienic toilet system known as SATO. This accomplishment underscores the dedication of these LGAs to advancing sanitation and reducing open defecation.
Residents of Bakin Day community in Kafin-Kuka ward of Katagum expressed their satisfaction during interviews with journalists, highlighting the positive impact of the new technology on their lives.
Through the replacement of old, unsanitary pit latrines with the SATO system, they have experienced financial savings, a cleaner environment, and improved health and hygiene.
Malam Shamsudeen Suleiman, a resident, emphasized the multiple benefits of the new technology and commended the efforts of WASH officials in educating and convincing the community about the importance of improved health and hygiene.
The success of SATO pan installations in the community, credited to individuals like Malam Ado Bala, highlights the affordability of the system. With an average installation cost of around N3,500 and no more than N1,500 per toilet, it has become accessible to everyone in the community. Malam Ado has already installed at least 50 SATO pans in Bakin Day alone.
The achievement was celebrated on World Toilet Day in 2023 during a media dialogue organized by the UNICEF Bauchi Field Office in Azare.
UNICEF emphasized the need for stronger commitments to eliminate open defecation in the remaining 669 LGAs in Nigeria, highlighting the impact of poor toilet hygiene practices on community health.
Bauchi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Abdulrazak Nuhu Zaki, expressed the state government’s commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2, aiming to make the entire state open defecation-free by 2025.
Residents using the SATO pan in Bakin Day community shared their satisfaction with the technology.
Halima Mohammed, a 45-year-old woman, highlighted the convenience, cleanliness, and suitability for people of all ages, including the elderly and those with disabilities.
18-year-old Umar Mohammed praised the new toilet for eliminating unpleasant odors and insects, enhancing overall hygiene in the community.