Traders and other users
of the flyover motorpark in Port Harcourt have condemned the incessant littering of the park with refuse by some unidentified persons. A cross section of respondents who spoke to The Tide source said the situation has made the park vulnerable to rats and other rodents.
Mr Titus Azubuike, he said expressed dissatisfaction over the way the park is being littered with refuse.
Azubuike said that the situation is fast becoming an eyesore. According to him, passengers must use things that constitute waste but the park union should employ people that will ensure the park is swept on daily basis. The union should not wait for the government but they should employ cleaners just like other organizations.
Also speaking, a trader at the park Mrs Stella Ewurum said that although there are road cleaners that sweep the park, they do not come on daily a basis, inisitng that is the reason the park is always littered.
She, however, said that the cleaners should be gingered up for them to carry out their work effectively.
While commenting on this, the Chairman of Abuloma Park, Mr Boniface Inobong, said that it is not all sections of the park that are dirty,” he said.
“My section is not dirty because I employed cleaners who sweep the park everynight.”
However, he said that the dirtiness of the other sections of the park is based on the leadership handling these sections.
Dangers Of Open Defecation
The story was told of a man in Yakkur Local Government Area of Cross River State who was mistakenly shot dead by a hunter while defecating in a nearby forest.
The story was a reflection of the dangers, the society faces everyday from open defecation. It would be noted that by the first of October, 2019, India will exit its ranking as a nation with the largest number of persons practising open defecation.
The planned exist of India will create a void that will be filled by no less a nation than Nigeria.
Nigeria is currently second in ranking to India which occupies the number one spot in the world as far as open defeacation is concerned.
Critics say that the up- coming development will not only dent the image of the country abroad, but add to her misery index locally.
Statistics made available to newsmen at a recent National Media Dialogue on Sanitation organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Calabar, Cross River State, shows that Nigeria with a population of over 200 million people has a sizeable number of her citizens practising open defecation.
According to the report, one in three Nigerians has no access to basic drinking water, while 47 million defecate in the open.
The report also shows that 33 million Nigerians use unimproved toilets, while on average, people living in rural areas have access to only 4 litres of water per capita each day.
It shows that only 34 per cent of schools and 12 per cent of hospitals have access to basic sanitation.
It would be noted that out of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, only 13 have been certified Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Six of these, however are in Cross River State, while in Rivers State, Opobo/Nkoro and Akuku-Toru Local Government Areas which keyed into the programme are yet to attain the ODF status.
In Cross River State, the six local government areas are Obaniku, Yakkur and Ikom.
The rest are Bekwaru, Boki and Yalla Local Government Areas.
Sources further informed The Tide that the dangers associated with the situation were responsible for the current move by the government to end open defecation by 2025.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, recently launched the “Clean-Up Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign, with the mandate to mobilise Nigerians towards attaining the status of Open Defecation Free nation by 2025.
Information also revealed that the government has set aside N10 billion to kick start the campaign
Speaking at the National Media Dialogue on Sanitation: Clean-Up Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign in Calabar, the Head, Child Rights Information Bureau, Federal Ministry of Information, Abuja, Mr. Olumide Osanyipeju said that the government is determined to get 47 million Nigerians to use the toilets by 2025.
Osanyipeju however said that to achieve the target, there must be vigorous campaign for behavioural change among Nigerians.
According to him, the nation will be further embarrassed when a new ranking is done this year, and described the Clean-Up Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign as timely.
He listed the dangers of open defecation to include poor nutrition, and adverse health conditions; “open defecation is dangerous as it spreads Cholera, Typhoid and other diseases.
“There is need for awareness on impact of open defecation in Nigeria”, he said.
He said that the media dialogue was to create awareness on the Clean-Up Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign” with a view to changing people’s behaviour on sanitation and health.
A communication specalist at UNICEF, Geoffrey Njoku said that if nothing is done about it, the situation will further compound the misery index of the country.
Njoku said that it was against this background that UNICEF is working with relevant organisations to put sanitation on the front burner of national discourse.
He said that the National Media Dialogue on Sanitation with the theme: Clean-Up Nigeria: Use The Toilet in Calabar was the third in the series organised by UNICEF round the country.
He described as terrible, India exiting as the number one ranked nation in the world by October, adding that it is the responsibility of every Nigerian to ensure that the country moves away from where it is now to Open Defecation Free nation by 2025.
He however added that atitudinal change is needed to achieve it.
Speaking on the overview of “Clean-Up Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign and how communities become ODF, a Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) specialist at UNICEF, Bioye Ogunjobi said that time has come for critical minds across the country to be engaged with a view to solving the open defecation problem by 2025.
Ogunjobi said that, the tendency is for everyone to work towards checking open defecation in rural communities, adding that the campaign was to increase access to improve sanitation especially in the rural areas.
He said that the priorities are to eliminate open defecation by 2025, bring water sanitation and hygiene to disadvantaged communities in the rural areas, improving access to safe water and sanitation in schools and health care facilities as well as create awareness and promote sanitation and hygiene in society.
Also speaking, Dr Nicholas Igwe of Zenith Water Project Limited said that the private sector must play critical role in the attainment of ODF Nigeria by 2025.
Igwe, who spoke on the link between Rural and Urban Sanitation: What Can the Private Sector Do? said that the private sector must mobilise resources to build toilet facilities in all public places in the country.
The expert also called for decentralisation of sewage disposal system in the country.
Just as the experts have said, the risk associated with open defecation is common in our communities.
Stories have been told of deaths caused by snake bites as a result of open defecation and accidental shooting of persons who practise open defecation in the bush by hunters.
The latest is the increasing number of rape cases in the communities caused by open defecation.
The dangers are enormous and the society must rise up to check the trend.
NIHSA Alerts On More Floods
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has warned Nigerians to be prepared for more floods due to high rainfall intensity of long duration in the country.
Mr Clement Nze, the Director General of the agency gave the warning while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
Nze said that the warning became necessary as it served to alert Nigerians that the country would soon experience the peak of flooding season for the year 2019.
“The localised urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some cities and communities in the country are expected to continue.
“The flooding incidents are due to high rainfall intensity of long duration, rainstorms, blockage of drainage system and poor urban planning resulting in erection of structures within the floodplains and waterways.
“River flooding as well as coastal flooding is expected to come into place as the nation approaches the peak of raining season.
“Therefore, states and local governments should endeavour to remove structures built within the floodplains, clear blocked drainage, culverts and other waterways,” he said.
Nze said that the agency was closely monitoring the flooding across the country with the attendant loss of lives and property.
He said that the flooding were manifesting as predicted by the agency.
“This means that the relevant stakeholders, especially the individuals and state governments have failed to heed the non-adherence to flood predictions for 2019.
“Thereby resulting in avoidable flooding incidents leading to loss of lives and property, disruption of economic activities and loss of several hectares of agricultural lands,” he said.
The director general said that since 2013, the agency had continued to publish Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), following the devastating effect of the 2012 flood.
He said that the AFO report and effective sensitisation campaign by the agency had been saving the country from huge revenue losses due to flooding.
He said that AFO was a means of producing early flood warning information for stakeholders to use as yardstick for taking action to mitigate flood related disasters.
FG’s Clean-Up Nigeria Campaign To Gulp N900bn
The Federal Government says, the country requires the sum of N900 billion to execute the “clean-up Nigeria: Use the Toilet campaign.
The campaign is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria attains the status of an open defecation free (ODF) nation by 2025.
The Chief Scientific officer, Federal Ministry Of Water Resources, Mrs Yemisi Akpa, who disclosed this at a media dulogue on sanitation: “Clean Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign” in Calabar, Cross River State, said that the government requires N10 billion annually to achieve the target.
Mrs Akpa said that with the approval of N10 billion by the Federal Government towards the clean Nigeria: Use The Toilet Campaign, it beholves one state government in the country to also set a site resources towards the campaign which will soon be launched at the national and state levels.
She listed the benefits of the campaign to include improved sanitation, businesses, education healthcare services and productivity.
Meanwhile government at all levels in the country have been urged to give more attention to the employment of Environmental Health Workers.
This was part of the decision reached at a media dialogue on sanitation in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
The Conference said that the dearth of environment health workers in the various states of the Federation is hampering the campaign against poor sanitation habits in the country.
The stakeholders also urged for more funding of the environment and health sectors, while those in position of authorities must implement decisions that will improve Nigeria rating is an Open Defeacation free a (ODF) nation by 2025.
Also speaking, Dr. Ibrahim Khali Conteh, Chief Fied of Field Office United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Enugu said that the media dialogue which is the third so far organised by the organization this year was targeted at achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) Nigeria by 2025 as well as improved overall sanitation in the country.
Dr. Conteh said that the country must have toilets facilities in all public places such as; markets, schools and commended the Federal Government for taking proactive steps to achieve the clean Nigeria campaign.
Politics4 days ago
Odili, A Model To Nigerian Politicians – Abe
Sports4 days ago
CAF CL: Asante Kotoko Fires Warning At Kano Pillars
Sports4 days ago
Sokori Wins Major Trophies In Tunisia
Politics4 days ago
IAUOE Lecturer Dies Of Heart Attack
Sports4 days ago
Siasia In No Rush To Appeal Life Ban
Politics4 days ago
Wike Seeks Unity Of Christians
Politics4 days ago
School Begins Enrolment Of Pupils, Sept
Politics4 days ago
AIB Submits Bill For Road, Rail, Marine Accidents Investigation