By Princess Owoh & Ezra Ukanwa
The Federal Government, yesterday, disclosed that open defecating would be outlawed in Nigeria by 2025.
*Once upon a time: Open defecation in Bauchi
Speaking at the an event to mark the World Water Day, organized by Procter and Gamble and Global Citizen in Abuja, Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, also stated that the Federal Government would provide safe drinking water and ensure proper sanitation across the country.
Adamu disclosed that the government was aware of the importance of clean water, the need for proper sanitation and hygiene and was working assiduously to create a proper environment for its citizens.
He added that the Federal Government was also concerned about how partnership among public, private companies and Non-Governmental Organisations, NGO, can accelerate progress in Nigeria.
He said, “It is a very important partnership and it is not like we have not been doing this before we have been partnering withWater Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and I have also had the opportunity to host Procter and Gamble isn 2016 and since then I have attended a couple of their program.
“I think the whole thing is moving to the next level and stepping up what we have been doing and that is very important. As a government, the last few months, we have been making giant strides to really have a quick change with the situation of our WASH sector and this event and the collaboration is coming is coming at the right time when we are trying to scale up our processes so, it is very welcome.
“Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, forms a central part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and it is imperative that good progress is made towards achieving it.
“The contribution and commitment of everyone is required to ensure deliberate attention is given to WASH and accelerate a Nigeria with safe drinking water and no open defecation that is why the efforts of Procter & Gamble and Global Citizen to provide safe drinking water is highly commendable.”
Also speaking, Associate Director Global Government Relations in Africa of Procter and Gamble, Temitope Iluyemi, pointed out that the company was making sure that clean water pervades the world.
Iluyemi said, “For P&G, it is a global corporate social responsibility program, we support this all around the world, and we would try and go as far as possible. We will also address these issues when there are disasters like and this will happen not only in Nigeria but other parts of the world.”
Iluyemi also stated that Global Citizen, since 2016 Nigeria had made commitments to improve access to clean water and sanitation and end open defecation in Nigeria – which are all efforts towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Commenting on the achievements of P&G through the CSDW Program, Adil Farhat, Managing Director, P&G Nigeria said: “We excited about this 15 billion liters milestone and are committed to providing access to clean water for more families in the year ahead. P&G has provided approximately 240 million liters of clean water in Nigeria since the program began in 2004 and we will intensify our WASH efforts in schools and continue our work in collaboration with many stakeholders.”
As part of the activities in the 2019 world water day celebration, cohosted by P&G and international advocacy organization Global Citizen, featured award-winning actress Uzo Aduba with a performance by artist and activist Falana; while the panel discussion was moderated by journalist, Chika Oduah. Also in attendance were key decision makers, change makers, and activists for clean water and sanitation across the globe.