Open defecation major cause of epidemics, says FCT sanitation agency
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency has said that the practice of open defecation, especially during the rainy season is a major cause of outbreak of epidemics.
This was disclosed by the agency’s executive director, Dr Mohammed Dan-Hassan, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja,.
According to him, the current outbreak of cholera in the country especially in the FCT communities calls for concern because dirty and unsafe water is the major reason for the outbreak.
“There is a rapid increase in the population of FCT, already there are loss of lives as a result, yet the disease is still spreading.
“Cholera is gotten from dirty environment, taking contaminated water and also contaminated fruits and vegetables.
“Except this practice is totally eradicated, there may be no way out’’, he said.
He, however, reiterated the minister’s commitment to see that open defecation was a thing of the past.
“In the FCT, we’ve done a lot of sensitisation around the communities, in all the six local government areas in our ward, we have desk officers working with us and in Kwali alone,139 communities have already been sensitised and currently running their toilet projects .
“Some communities in Kwali, are already claiming `open defecation free’ and would be declared free after our monitoring and inspections in those communities.
“The `Clean Nigeria, use the toilet Champaign”, is a major project we are currently running to propagate the use of toilets within the FCT and its communities.
“The minister is doing a lot and stakeholders have recently met ,by July we are going to be having toilets in designated places known as the `Red spot areas’ including markets ,parks and gardens, recreational centres in the FCT and structures would be set up to sustain them’’, he added.
He further stated that the toilets would be gender sensitive and children would also not be left out as their own convenience was already being put in place.
“Public sectors are encouraged to be part of it, we can work together, and it’s everybody’s business not just for the Government.
“Before the year 2025, FCT would be free and Nigeria would be free.”