FG to use FCT as open defecation-free model

By Tosin Kolade

The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, says efforts are  on to use the FCT as an Open Defecation-Free (ODF) model for other states to learn from.

Adamu, who told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that the approach was to consolidate on current progress, in collaboration with the Clean Nigeria Campaign secretariat.

He said the FCT administration had supported the approach with the donation of 80 locations to be used for the construction of public toilets within the nations’ capital.

He said a lot of work was being done in the Kuje Area council to get it open defecation-free before the end of 2022.

“In the FCT, the FCT administration has just given us about 80 locations for people to build public toilets so that we start with the FCT, and then the Clean Nigeria Campaign also, we have taken a position that we are going to put a lot of support on FCT.

“I think we are now working on Kuje area council, hopefully, we will get it open defecation free, before the end of the year, I hope. So we are going to make the FCT as a model for the rest of the country, that is our new approach now.

“We have also had a lot of engagement with ALGON, we have the National Orientation Agency, a lot is going on, and I hope before the end of the year, we will begin to see something.

“Regarding open defecation at least in the FCT, very soon, it’s going to be a thing of the past, because its private sector-driven and the FCT has given the land, people will build the toilets themselves and they will charge the fee for people to use it for whatever, shower, and the rest of it.’’

He noted that with strong political will and investments in sanitation, it had a huge potential to promote socio-economic development in the country.

According to him, the Nigerian Government has shown the biggest commitment with the declaration of a state of emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector.

The minister however called on all tiers of government to demonstrate strong political will for Nigeria to meet its open defecation-free target by 2025.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in February, the FCT Rural Water Supply Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) called for collaboration to build 2, 000 toilets in public places to enable the FCT to achieve open defecation-free status in the six area councils by 2025.

The Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister of State Mohammed Usman noted that the administration is making all efforts to ensure that Abuja and its environs is open defecation-free by 2025.

Noting that some communities in the FCT are already attaining the status, he urged RUWASA to increase the tempo to ensure that more communities are free of the menace.

He said that 40 per cent of FCT residents still defecate in the open.

He stressed the need for all stakeholders, the private sector, to collaborate with the administration in realising its objective. (NAN)