As the world commemorate World Toilet Day, UNICEF officer in-charge of Maiduguri office, Dr. Clement Adams, said across the country, 48 million Nigerians lack access to toilets.
He stated that with about 16% of the population in Borno state and 32% of population in Yobe state still practicing open defecation, there is need for all stakeholders to review the existing mechanism with a view to improving access to toilets, reducing disease outbreaks and address malnutrition in conflict-affected children.
The stated this Thursday at a one-day media dialogue on open defecation organised by UNICEF for journalists to commemorate World Toilet Day 2021 held at Pinnacle Hotel and Luxury Suites, Maiduguri, noted that, the theme of 2021 is apt, hence evidence has shown that access to toilets and water benefits people and nations.
He further stated that it has promoted the wellbeing of the workforce and contributed to the reduction of storming in children while ending open defecation helps to protect the dignity of women and girls and reduces the incidence of gender-based violence.
He said since 2018, UNICEF Nigeria has supported state governments in the North east with the construction of 4,752 toilets and rehabilitation of 2,976 toilets respectively across Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and host communities.
Dr. Adams maintained also that about 209 sites have been supported with hand pump boreholes while 125,890 non-food items have been distributed to displaced and vulnerable families.
He added that UNICEF has further built capacities of state departments and LGAs to deliver safe and sustainable WASH services to communities and IDPs as well as supported Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to undertake rapid response to cholera outbreaks.