The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has initiated the construction of 10,000 public toilets in Abuja, in a bid to combat the challenge of open defecation in Nigeria’s capital. Dr Ramatu Aliyu, the Minister of State for the FCT, who inaugurated the construction of the toilets, said that in 2014, Nigeria embarked on a five-year objective to eradicate open defecation across the country by building millions of toilets and changing the behaviours of millions of Nigerians.
According to Aliyu, one in every three people in the FCT practices open defecation, representing almost 37% of the population The minister urged FCT Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) and other stakeholders to speed up measures and efforts targeted at making the FCT open defecation-free.
Objectives for the construction of 10,000 public toilets in Abuja
Aliyu explained that the FCT Administration launched an action plan on November 9, 2021, with the objective of removing open defecation in a few years to come. She added that the goal entails providing equal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services while also bolstering community-led approaches to total sanitation.
The Minister emphasized that optimal benefits from adequate water supply cannot be realized without corresponding improvements in sanitation and hygiene practices, highlighting that access to the adequate water supply as well as improved sanitation and hygiene practices are critical factors in determining a nation’s human capital development.
In line with the commitment to work with the private sector to create jobs while improving people’s living standards, the minister stated that the FCT administration would continue supporting and urging private sector involvement and cooperation in the provision of public conveniences in the territory.
Mr Olusade Adesola, FCTA permanent secretary, who was represented by Mr Prospect Ibe, a director in his office, said the FCT Administration had set up a road map to eradicate open defecation in the territory by 2025, in accordance with the national aim and vision.