The Federal Government on Friday said it was set to create legislation to punish individuals who indiscriminately defecate in the open.
It said an Executive Order shall be signed in that effect by President Muhammadu Buhari soon to help reduce significantly or completely eradicate cases of open defecation in Nigeria.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja and stated that the move was part of efforts aimed at achieving the national target of ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
He said, “In the national WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) action plan that we are promoting which the states are adopting, there is a provision for some legislation to be made against open defecation.
“And there is going to be an Executive Order signed by President Buhari to that effect, where there is a law against open defecation. Also, law enforcement agencies will do their bit.”
Adamu said the law when in place, would promote behavioural change in the hygiene of citizens and would curb the menace of open defecation.
“We need individuals and communities to have this behavioural change. It is the responsibility of a household and for their well-being and dignity for them to imbibe the culture of building and looking for toilets to relive themselves,” he stated.
The minister further noted that in commemoration of the World Toilet Day, the Federal Government will inaugurate the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the toilet’ campaign on November 19, 2019, as approved by the Federal Executive Council.
“The whole point is to provide political leadership and awareness on the ills of open defecation,” he explained.
Adamu added, “We are hoping that once the campaign gets into the mind of people, our job is done. So when the communities begin to see that this is not right, this behaviour will change.
“Open defecation is a bad practice and should be stopped. We as governments at the federal and state levels have our own responsibility, where these facilities are not available we should make concerted efforts to provide an alternative.”