By; PETER NOSAKHARE, Kaduna
Almost 403 million Nigerians have dropped deeper into living in unclean environment, in spite of the successes recorded in reducing open defecation in the country, a survey report by the Clean Up Nigeria (CUN), has shown.
The group at a public presentation of the report where it recorded that Akwa Ibom state emerged as Nigeria’s most clean state, said the nation recorded more of its population living in an unclean environment in 2020 as against 2021.
According to the report presented by Clean Up Nigeria (CUN), in partnership with the Institute De France and the Foundation (SUES), Munich Germany (DSZ) Beautiful Stamford CT (USA) International Council for Environment Initiative (ICLE) in Abuja, funds by the government at all levels to procure environmental equipment dropped and impacted on the overall cleanliness of the environment.
National Coordinator and Secretary of National Technical Study Group (NTSG), Prof. Ene Baba Owoh, Jr. pointed out that “Performance indicators from our studies show that over 176.3 million Nigerians in 2022 are living in unclean environments, compared to 172 million in 2021.
“Interestingly, the practice of open defecation in all the thirty-six (36) States of the Federation and FCT has reduced from 34% in 2021 to 28% in 2022.
“Nigeria, nevertheless Nigeria still remains the number one country in the world that leads in open defecation from 2018 to 2022 (back to back).
The study further noted that state government at all levels may have to upscale its efforts on a clean environment to promote and sustain a clean nationally, that promote hygiene and better health for the people.
“Funding by States/Local Government Councils for waste management services has reduced drastically when compared to the increased services offered.
“This equally calls for serious incremental review on the part of governments at all levels to help 5 confront the challenges of ensuring a cleaner, healthy and safer environment.
The study noted “Improvement of the health of sanitation workers employed both by government and private sectors to provide waste management, while the services fell from 36% in 2021 to 16% in 2022.
“Interestingly, the informal sector operators of waste recycling and reuse enterprises recorded higher patronage, as their activities increase from 50% in 2021 to 31% in 2022.
According to the report, the flood disaster caused a spike in the disease prevalence in the country, the report read.
“The incidence and prevalence of sanitation related diseases have increased from thirty-two (32) per cent to fifty-one in Nigeria, these intakes were elevated 51.2% more, by the flood disaster in the last quarter of 2022.
The report unveiled Akwa Ibom state as the cleanest state for the fifth time a record it has sustained for five years.