FCTA moves to end open defecation

The government wants all hands on deck to battle open-defecation in the FCT.

39.4% of the FCT population practises open defecation

Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has moved to end open defecation, accelerate access to safe water and improved hygienic practices for all residents of the territory.

FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, stated this while performing the official declaration of a state of emergency in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Aliyu, who disclosed that 39.4 per cent of the FCT population practised open defecation, described the situation as alarming and unacceptable.

She also disclosed that as part of efforts in the battle against open defecation, FCT administration established Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) as the coordinating body for WASH activities in the area.

The minister expressed FCTA’s commitment to meeting the open defecation free (ODF) target before the nationally set target of 2025, and the universal access to water and sanitation by the SDG target of 2030.

While stressing the importance of basic water supply to rural communities, she advocated for concerted efforts towards winning the battle against open defecation

"To achieve the goal of ending open defecation by 2025, all hands must be on deck, both at the formal and informal sectors. The children, the youth, women and the elderly, all have important roles to play.

"Community-based organisations, religious and traditional leaders, organised private sector, development partners as well as all government agencies are also expected to work in synergy to fight this menace," she said.

Aliyu enjoined the area council chairmen to demonstrate their commitment to ending open defecation, adding that they should also create WASH department, fund it, train and retrain their staffers, and follow up with rigorous community engagements.

"Additionally, our traditional institutions across the territory are expected to galvanise their subjects in this fight.

"Community and household members are enjoined to cooperate with relevant stakeholders and rise up to own this war against open defecation in their respective communities," she added.

Earlier, Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, said that the country was making steady progress in meeting the objective of ending open defecation by 2025 and improving sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene.

Adamu, therefore, urged the institutions at the area councils and communities to drive the campaign through the provision of adequate resources, thereby creating the critical mass of champions across the territory.

Also, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, said as part of its commitment, the FCT administration had inaugurated a high-powered committee for the assessment and replacement of about 1,000 water compartment toilets.

Adesola added that the FCT administration had repaired the vandalised borehole systems across the six area councils and in public schools.

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