UNICEF, Information Ministry Seek Media Partnership To End Open Defecation By 2025
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) chief in Enugu Office, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, is seeking media partnership to achieve an Open Defecation Free Nigeria by 2025.
Dr Ibrahim stated this at a Two-Day Media Dialogue on Clean-Up Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign in Calabar ,Cross River state.
Represented by UNICEF WASH Specialist, Doutimiye Kiakubu , Dr Ibrahim said this was also to ensure Nigeria meet the overall sanitation mandate of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs as defined in Target 6.2.
According to him “By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations”
The UNICEF Enugu chief noted that the federal government had taken taken very proactive steps in ensuring that this goal is achieved by declaring a WASH emergency in 2018.
Hence the “Clean Nigeria Use the Toilet Campaign ”which is a very promising engagement between WASH practitioners and the media to put this on the front burner of national discourse and influence behavior change at all levels of society is to enable us to achieve this goal.
“The media is a very powerful platform for engagement and behavior change, and we believe that this partnership will yield tremendous results in achieving this goal.”he added.
Also speaking Deputy Director and Head of Child Rights Information Bureau Federal Ministry of Information and Culture,Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju noted that the campaign was one of the most purposeful behaviour-change campaigns in Nigeria. with a strong citizen / public engagement component.
“ This campaign mode will create a national movement with elements of policy advocacy, public advocacy, grassroots mobilization, and private sector engagement.”Mr Osanyinpeju said.
“Sanitation is essential to the survival and development of children. It can reduce the severity and impact of malnutrition. “
“It can also help in reducing the spread of intestinal worms, as well as promoting dignity and boosting safety, particularly among women and children.”
“Open defecation perpetuates a vicious cycle of disease and poverty. Inadequate waste disposal promotes the infection cycle of many agents that can spread through contaminated soil, food, water and insects such as flies.”he added.