UNICEF: 53.9% OF NIGERIA’S OPEN DEFECATORS LIVE IN NORTH CENTRAL -

UNICEF: 53.9% OF NIGERIA’S OPEN DEFECATORS LIVE IN NORTH CENTRAL

United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF new data on percentage of Nigerians practicing open defecation across the geopolitical zones, has revealed that the North Central region topped the chart with about 59.9 per cent. Out of the 47 million Nigerians that practice open defecation, 16 million live in the North Central.

The report released by UNICEF in Calabar at a dialogue and partnership meeting with the media to achieve Open Defecation Free Nigeria by 2025 shows that one in four Nigerian (24.4%) defecate in the open while one in two persons in the North Central defecate in the open.

According to report, the South West region came second at 28.0 per cent, followed by the South East at 22.4 per cent, North East 21.8, South South 17.9 and North West at 10.3 per cent. The reasons that have been given for people who don’t use toilets have either been poverty that makes it a challenge to build latrines or lack of government support in providing such facilities.

In cases where the toilets are available but people still end up preferring opened defecation, the reasons can extend to cultural issues related with sharing toilets among family members. Open defecation has been the leading cause of diarrhoea and other problems associated with the ingesting and exposure to human waste which affect children under the age of 5 years the most.

This exposure is because most of open defecation happens next to water ways and rivers. The result of open defecation near water ways is that it is carried into the water system. As a consequence, the contaminated water ends up in the main water source. When people use the water for drinking and cooking, it results in water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and trachoma.

 

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