The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), on Thursday, sensitised stakeholders on open defecation in Nasarawa State.
Speaking at the one-day campaign in Lafia, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said the workshop marked the beginning of the National sensitisation campaign programme jointly implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources and NOA in Nasarawa State.
The Minister, who was represented by Mrs Juilet Iordye, the Sanitation Sector Planning and Management Specialist in the Ministry, said the ”clean Nigeria – use the toilet” campaign was in pursuance of the drive to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
According to the Minister, ending open defecation was not just about having access to the toilet, it was about generating demands for the toilet and changing people’s behaviour regarding toilet usage.
He described the campaign as a transformational and behavioural change campaign, which aimed at mobilising high-level political support, resources, and the entire populace towards building a new culture of safe sanitation.
“It requires the contribution and commitment of everyone, government at all levels, civil society organisations, private sector, development partners, and the entire populace,” he said.
Mrs Silifat Sule, wife of the Nasarawa governor, who was represented by the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Halima Jabiru, while describing the campaign as timely, promised to partner NOA in ensuring the success of the campaign.
Earlier, Mrs Priscilla Gondoaluor, the Nasarawa state Director of NOA, said the campaign would expose Nigerians to the harmful effect of open defecation and promote the practice of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)
The NOA director said the campaign was aimed at drawing the government’s attention to the need for improved budgeting for sanitation infrastructure, as well as strengthened partnership and coordination among government agencies.
She said that the campaign would also sensitise policymakers at all levels of the vision of ensuring the provision of sanitation facilities in public places, such as markets, motor parks, schools, and recreational centres by government and private organisations.
“NOA is mandated to handle the media and community sensitisation campaign, and also build capacity for all Community Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOs) in the state, so as to step down the campaign in the local communities,” she said.