Igbo-Etiti local government area of Enugu state with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched prohibition of open defecation bye-law in consonance with the government and state governments plan to make Nigeria open defecation free by 2025.
Speaking after the launch of the bye-law, the executive chairman of Igbo-Etiti local government area, Anthony Nwodo in company of the SSA to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Water, Anthony Dubem Onyia, said the launching of the law has given it the teeth to punish anybody caught disobeying the rules.
According to him, launching the law was the initial stage of getting the local government to be open defecation free, hence the council started with the enabling laws to give tips to enforcement.
“The first stage is really to sensitize people to get the toilets in their immediate vicinity and secondly to have people to get to use those toilet facilities,” he said.
On what the council would do to take care of public places, Nwodo said, “It’s all about the thing of the mind, in terms of the public areas, like markets, hospitals, schools, we will do our own bit to make sure that we have appropriate facilities, we will combine our resources with the look at the states and UNICEF. To make open defecation free, we also use it as a means of employment.
He commented UNICEF for a complementary robust partnership the council is enjoying which he said was why the local government as of today is the first out of 17 local government areas to be declared Open Defecation Free in the state very soon.
The chairman also pointed out that the council would create employments through the development of the toilets.
In a good will message, the UNICEF WASH specialist, Timi Kiabuki on behalf of UNICEF Enugu Field Office said the bye-law was an important step towards achieving the goal of ending open defecation and accelerating access to safely manage sanitation and hygiene services, saying that it is an opportunity for all stakeholders to drive the campaign to an end.
Enugu state, he said, had already declared emergency on WASH and had also constituted and launched the inter- Ministerial Committee on WASH, drafted the ODF Road Map for the state and rolled out ODF Interventions in Igbo-Etiti local government,” he said.