The Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria, Mr Ronald Kayanja, has cautioned Nigerians against indulging in open defecation because of its adverse effects on human health and the environment.
Kayanja told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that investigation had shown that “20 per cent of Nigerians do not have toilets’’, and engaged in open defecation.
The UN official, therefore, enjoined Nigerian governments, private businesses and organisations to provide more modern toilets in schools, homes, public places, highways and strategic locations.
“About 20 per cent of Nigerians have been reported to still be engaging in open defecation even when the UN targets 2025 for the global end to open defecation.
“Nigerians need to know that the practice of open defecation is very dangerous to their health and the environment. Open defecation will expose them to different deadly infectious diseases.
“It is, therefore, important that the different levels of governments, every house and private organisations ensure that more toilets are provided for people to easily access,’’ he said.
The director, who commended Nigeria’s effort and victory over Ebola Virus Diseases (EVD) and Polio, called on the governments and the public to also take the issue of toilet provision seriously.
Kayanja expressed optimism that adequate provision of toilets would reduce people’s contact with infectious diseases.
He also urged Nigerians to always ensure that they drink clean water from clean sources to reduce their exposure to water borne diseases.