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Oyo govt. set to punish open defecation

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Open defecation
  • 48m Nigerians practice open defecation- NBS

The Oyo State Government on Wednesday said it was set to punish individuals who participate in open defecation and those who drop refuse indiscriminately.

It said this is part of efforts to help reduce significantly or completely eradicate cases of open defecation in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, disclosed this at a two-day media dialogue on open defecation in the South-West states, held in Ibadan.

The gathering, which was sponsored by UNICEF, was attended by media executives from the five south-west states.

Oyelade noted that the move to penalize open defecators and indiscriminate dumping of refuse was part of efforts aimed at achieving the national target of ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2027.

He stated that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has unequivocally mandated the Ministry of Justice to ensure the prosecution of anyone who dumps, refuses or defecates openly in the State.

Oyelade said the penalty when fully in place, would promote behavioural change in the hygiene of citizens and curb open defecating.

He said, “Oyo State Government is willing to effect the necessary behavioural change in open defecation, working with UNICEF’s WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) action plan.

“In Oyo State, we have adopted the WASH action plan, and if need be, we will back it up with legislation,” Oyelade added.

“And the Ministry of Justice has been mandated to penalize defecators and those dumping refuse in illegal sites. Also, law enforcement agencies will do their bit.”

“Sadly, Nigeria has taken over from Egypt by recording the highest rate of open defecation,” he said.

Oyelade said the Oyo State Government, before 2027, will ensure much improvement in the social menaces and all other diseases plaguing the state.

He therefore appealed to residents to patronize government waste consultants and stop the unhygienic practice.

He said, “To this end, billboards will be erected at major junctions and entry points of the State, to discourage anyone from practising any environmental infractions, and the penalties.

He added, “The Oyo State government is bent on ensuring residents obey the law of social etiquette.”

Oyelade pledged the Oyo State Government’s continued partnership with UNICEF to ensure Oyo State is open defecation-free.

Earlier, UNICEF WASH Specialist, Mr Monday Johnson revealed that according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, about 48 million Nigerians are practising open defecation.

Johnson said the disposal of human faeces in the open, including fields, forests, bushes, open bodies of water and other open spaces is a common practice in the country.

He said though Oyo State has one of the highest data on the unhygienic practice in the southwest, UNICEF is glad that it has progressively started actions to end open defecation.

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