By; Mohmmed Kawu, Bauchi.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Media Network in Bauchi state, has called on Governments at all levels to put in place public toilets and latrines to curb the menace of open defecation.
The Coordinator of the WASH Media Network in Bauchi Mr. David Ayodele made the plea weekend while addressing journalists in Bauchi on plan for facility tour in the state.
“We observed with dismay that all our public places such as Motor Parks, schools, shopping malls, Mosque, Churches etc have no adequate and maintained toilets facilities that is why people use any available open space to defecate openly”, he said.
According to him, not having proper toilet, whether you defecate in the open or use bucket or rudimentary pit latrine which leaks it’s content, means you have no way to prevent your faeces from contaminating your environment,
“This is a one way street to illness; you should also know that one gram of faeces carries up to 1 million bacteria and 10 million viruses. When faeces is let loose in your environment, minutes amounts contaminate your hands, food and water and spread diseases”.
Ayodele reiterated the call on Government to construct public toilets in public places to reduce the menace of open defecation adding that “All toilets, urinals and lavatories shall be kept in good repair, maintained in a clean condition and disinfected”.
The WASH coordinator also called on Government to adopt the WaterAid Sustainable Total Sanitation (STS) approach and models of new affordable latrine package that meets the needs of low income rural households that are affordable especially to the government.
“This is an institution, and government duty bearers to urgently implement some measures and practices, that ensures every home have a safe toilet, every public place have an accessible safe toilet within 500 meters, and every institution, school, company, and office have a safe toilet that is accessible to all categories of users including the physically challenged”.
“Now is the time to ensure the sight of people squatting along road paths to defecate, men and women pulling down their clothes to urinate along the streets, citizens squatting on waste dumps to defecate, and students entering bush paths to defecate, becomes history. With individual and collective action, open urination and defecation can become history” Ayodele said.
David called on State and Local Governments to as a matter of urgency and necessity, also create budget lines for water related sanitation, particularly hygiene promotion, and safe disposal of human faeces.
By; Mohmmed Kawu, Bauchi.