In commemoration of the World Toilet Day 2020, WaterAid Nigeria, yesterday, disclosed that about 112 million Nigerians do not have a toilet of their own.
This was embarrassing facts was laid bare at abriefing tagged, ‘Living in a fragile world: The Impact of Climate Change onthe Sanitation Crisis’ highlights the link between poor sanitation and thetransmission of fatal, but preventable illnesses – such as cholera withexamines of how these are now compounded by the effects of climate change.
The discourse reveals that where decent toilets are lacking, human faeces can contaminate the groundwater or end up in rivers and lakes, polluting what is often the only supply of water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
Children play on ground rife with pathogensand as a result of faecal contamination, whole communities can contractdiarrhoeal diseases.
WaterAid is working to make clean water,decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within ageneration. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countriesto change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people.
Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with decent toilets. World Toilet Day 2020 was marked on November 19, 2020, with the theme, ‘Sustainable sanitation and climate change’ across the world.
World Toilet Day is celebrated on 19thNovember every year. It is a United Nations Observance that celebrates toiletsand raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safelymanaged sanitation.
It is about taking action to tackle the globalsanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water andsanitation for all by 2030.
“Further, inadequatesanitation in healthcare centres increases the risk of them becoming theepicentres of epidemics as only 7% of healthcare facilities in Nigeria haveaccess to basic water and sanitation services and only 3.6% to combined water,sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services; putting the lives of doctors, nurses,midwives and patients at risk”, WaterAid Nigeria stated.
According to WaterAid Nigeria climate changecurrently aggravates the sanitation crisis with extreme weather conditionsincluding floods, rising temperatures, prolonged droughts are causingirreparable damage to weak sanitation systems and causing illnesses to spreadfurther in vulnerable communities.
An estimated 250,000 additional deaths peryear are predicted between 2030 and 2050 due to climate change and many ofthese deaths will be linked to poor sanitation.
“Poor sanitation impacts the entire country – it is estimated that Nigeria loses 1.3% of its GDP annually due to poor sanitation. In 2018, the Nigerian Federal Government declared a state of emergency in its water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and launched a National WASH Action Plan in response to the huge challenges linked to the poor sanitation and hygiene.
“This was followed the next year by the ‘CleanNigeria: Use the Toilet’ campaign, which aims to end open defecation by 2025”,it added.
Expressing concern over $20 billion annualfunding gap for WASH in Nigeria, the organization called for scaling up offunds in the next 10 years.