The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and National Orientation Agency (NOA) have called for concerted efforts among Nigerians to end open defecation by 2025 through the building of toilet facilities.
The Minister, Mr Suleiman Adamu, and the Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, made the call on Wednesday during a one-day sensitisation campaign in Abakaliki.
The campaign is on Open-Defecation-Free Nigeria for Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers (COMOs) for the thirteen Local Government Areas of the state.
Adamu, who was represented by Mrs Chizoba Opara, the Acting National Coordinator for the “Clean Nigeria: use the toilet” campaign, said they embarked on the campaign to sensitise COMOs to enable them to come up with an action plan before the end of the exercise.
He also said that the ministry took advantage of NOA’s wide reach to get to the urban and rural areas of the state to end the trend.
“In this campaign, we expect states to come up with their road maps and targets to end open defecation.
“These are sensitisation and awareness that we brought to states for them to understand that we need to be in the race together,” Adamu said.
Abari, who was represented by the Deputy Director, NOA, Mrs Theresa Maduekwe, said that realising open defecation free nation by 2025 was possible, if individuals could get involved in the campaign.
He also encouraged the practice of hand washing and wash facilities to be in place, describing the practice as key to good health.
“The open defecation free Nigeria 2025 is achievable when everybody is involved and start building toilets at homes and public places.
“This practice affects us. Stop the act, build one and use the toilet,” Abari said.
Meanwhile, the State Director of the agency, Dr Emma Abah, said that 47 million Nigerians practice open defecation.
Abah said that if nothing was done to end the trend in the next ten years, the number of people who practice the act would increase.
“The adverse impact of open defecation can be judged from the fact that one gram of feaces of a person contains 10,000,000 viruses, 1,000,000 bacteria, 1,000 parasite cyst and 100 parasite egg and pathogens.
“Our objective is to make the state open defecation free,” Abah said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise featured training, technical and interactive sessions with COMOs.
Also, lectures were presented on the health impact of the practice, poor wash and objective of the programme, among others, by resource persons from the ministry and Ebonyi State Rural Water Sanitation Agency.
Edited By: Sam Oditah
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has partnered the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to train the agency’s community orientation and mobilisation officers on an open defecation-free campaign.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the capacity-building workshop for the officials across the 33 local government areas of Oyo state was held at the state secretariat of NOA in Ibadan, on Wednesday.
In his address at the occasion, the Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, said that the ministry saw the need for creating a pool of resource persons to support local actors to implement a nation-wide sanitation promotion.
Adamu, represented by Joseph Adeyemi, Chief Scientific Officer in the ministry, said that the workshop was aimed at leveraging on the structure of NOA and the wide reach of the officials in sensitising the populace on the need to stop open defecation.
According to the minister, the workshop and the activities that will follow will contribute, in no small measure, to the efforts of the Federal Government towards achieving an open defecation-free society by 2025.
Also speaking, the Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, noted that the basic effects of open defecation were attendant of series of diseases, such as cholera outbreak, intestinal diseases and others.
Abari, who was represented by Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, the Director of NOA in Oyo State, stressed that open defecation was injurious to health.
He decried the menace of open defecation, saying “it is so bad to the extent that in every 100 metres in the cities, one will see human faeces littering the roads and streets.
The director-general posited that the vision to achieve an open defecation-free society by 2025 would be achieved when every sector took proactive steps through legislation and media campaigns.
“When every sector enacts laws, sanctions and penalties, it will force every household to make provisions for toilets; all local governments to provide toilets, mobile and station them in different areas, markets, motor parks and other public places,” he said.
Abari urged local and state governments as well as private institutions and multinationals to provide toilet facilities as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
While imploring Nigerians to take the issue of open defecation as everybody’s business, Abari called on landlords to build latrines that were covered and maintained for the sake of healthy living.
In his goodwill message, Mr Adeduntan Adeniyi, acting General Manager, Oyo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA), said that the scourge of open defecation was leaving a negative mark on the poor sanitation status of Nigeria.
He called for the involvement of everybody in putting an end to open defecation in the state and the nation as a whole.
Adeniyi said that RUWASA was presently collating a database, with the objective of identifying communities prevalent to open defecation with the hope of constructing toilet facilities for community usage.
He urged the participants to ensure that the outcome of the training was duly utilised for the betterment of the hygiene and sanitation in the state.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Garba Abari, said the agency has trained 17 Community Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOs) for the campaign against open defecation in Enugu State.
He said this on Monday in Enugu during a one-day sensitisation campaign on Open Defecation Free Nigeria.
Abari, who was represented at the event by a deputy director in the Enugu office of NOA, Mrs Theresa Maduekwe, said that the campaign also served as a workshop for the COMOs.
The director general said that it had become necessary to involve the agency in the campaign against open defecation due to the hazards it posed to society.
He advised the COMOs to see themselves as professionals that had been deployed to the rural communities for a very important task.
He said that Nigeria had set out to achieve free open defecation status by 2025, adding that the task was enormous but achievable.
“We want our environment to be clean and resilient. The reason for this programme is for our children to have good health.
“The agency has the reach and with the needed commitment we shall achieve it,” Abari said.
In a goodwill message, the Acting National Coordinator, Clean Nigeria – Use the Toilet Campaign, Mrs Chizoma Opara, said it was sad that no local government area in the Southeast was open defecation free.
Opara, who is an assistant director in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said that only 24 of the 774 council areas in the country had attained such status.
She said that the various state governments in the South-East needed the political will to initiate necessary policies that would facilitate the attainment of open defecation status.
She said that the ministry was passionate about partnering with NOA to attain the 2025 free open defecation timeline.
Also, the Communication for Development Specialist, UNICEF, Enugu, Mr Hilary Ozoh, said that the programme was a provided the platform to engage experienced people.
Ozoh said that it would be easy to achieve open defecation status in the Southeast considering the level of the people’s exposure.
“We should begin to put the milestones that will guide us toward achieving the target,” he said.
Earlier, the State Director of NOA, Mr Isaac Onukwube, said that open defecation had led to a myriad of sicknesses, including diarrhea, worm infestation, typhoid, cholera and others.
“There is a need for aggressive nationwide campaign against open defecation in order to eliminate these diseases.
“We must deliberately device a strategy to improve the skills and competence of the foot soldiers saddled with the campaign and that is why we are here,” he said.
The state director said that his team would carryout statewide tour of the rural communities after the workshop.
Onukwube urged the COMOs to maintain high standard of competence while carrying out their duties in their respective local government areas.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Sam Oditah
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the National Orientation Agency have officially inaugurated a nationwide sensitisation campaign to end open defecation practice in the country.
At the official inauguration in Abuja, the Minister, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said that the campaign was all about behavioral change in ensuring that all Nigerians built and used their toilets through Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), model.
He said that collaboration with the private sector was in top gear, saying that the recent conversations with some stakeholders centered on providing free water for toilet business owners toward improving sanitation and hygiene.
He said this would in turn promote sustainability as funds generated would be used for maintaining such facilities and promote overall wellbeing of the society.
Adamu said that the national programme to end open defecation in Nigeria tagged “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign was initiated to address the unfortunate position that Nigeria found herself as the country with the highest number of persons defecating in the open globally.
Quoting the 2019 Water Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASHNORM), report, he said an estimated 46 million Nigerians defecated openly, saying this was a quarter of its population.
The minister said that ending open defecation was not just about access to toilets, but about generating demand for toilets and changing people’s behavior regarding toilet usage.
“The Clean Nigeria campaign is a transformational and behavior change campaign that seeks to mobilise high level political support, resources and the entire populace towards building a culture of safe sanitation.
“This will require the contribution and commitment of everyone, government at all levels, civil society, Private sector, development partners and the entire populace.”
He said the ministry would be leveraging on the nationwide structure of the NOA through the Communication, Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOs), who would aid in dissemination of key messages of the Clean Nigeria campaign.
He expressed optimism that the partnership would help to adopt safe sanitation practices and overall hygiene promotion for a healthy nation.
The NOA Director-General, Dr Garba Abari, said that the Agency was ready to deploy its robust structure and officials to promote reorientation and mobilise Nigerians for social change.
According to him, open defecation and poor sensitisation have implication for universal public health, with attendant cases of water-borne diseases and under-five mortality especially in rural areas.
“The campaign will be implemented in four phases: national, zonal, state and local government activities. We are targeting property owners, women and youth groups, policy makers, family heads among others.
“We will walk with you in line with the charge by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that all public places including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, offices and hospitals have access to toilets.“
Abari called on the media to join in the campaign, saying they were a critical stakeholder in achieving a cleaner and healthier environment.
Also, a State of Emergency was declared by Mr President on Nov. 8, 2018, with strong commitment to end Open Defecation by 2025.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Mr Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) says that the agency will intensify sensitisation on COVID-19 in four states and 11 Local Government Areas to reduce the infection rate of the virus in the communities.
Abari told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja that communicating the right messages was key to reducing infection in the communities.
According to him, the ultimate goal is to minimise the rate of spread of the disease in the country.
“We believe that providing enough information about the disease, method of spread and how to stop the spread will help communities affected to take the required precaution.
“I call on all residents in these states to work hard toward curtailing the spread of the pandemic,” Abari said.
Abari, while appraising NOA’s efforts in the fight against the virus, regretted that many Nigerians had continued to live in denial of the existence and spread of the disease.
He also regretted that many Nigerians were not taking responsibility by refusing to use the recommended safety measures including the use of face masks, hand sanitiser and the washing of hands.
The NOA boss condemned the unruly attitude of some youths, especially in Nasarawa State, who recently went about forcing people to remove their face masks with the argument that the virus did not exist.
Abari pointed out that the gradual easing of lockdown did not mean an end to the scourge, adding that Nigerians should take responsibility.
He urged citizens to take individual and community responsibility for the health of everybody in the society, and appealed to states and local governments to begin sensitisation in schools where classes had partially resumed.
Abari urged service providers to ensure that customers were reminded to observe the precautionary measures, especially the use of sanitiser and face masks.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on the Muslim faithful to dedicate the Eid-el- kabir celebration to praying for the peace, prosperity and stability of the nation in the face of its current challenges.
The Director General of NOA, Mr Garba Abari, made the call in a Sallah message to the Muslim faithful in Nigeria, contained in a statement by the agency’s Head of Press Unit, Mr Paul Odenyi.
Abari urged them to maintain the virtues of peace, love and sacrifice espoused by Prophet Mohammed.
He called on the Muslim faithful to use the Eid-el-Kabir to seek divine intervention for a quick end to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“It is only with ardent faith in God and love for humanity that the citizens of any nation can peacefully navigate the challenges of nationhood and emerge stronger, united, more resilient and prosperous as a people,” Abari said.
The director general admonished Nigerians to exercise necessary caution for the sake of their health and security as they go about the Sallah celebration.
He reiterated the importance of maintaining all the COVID-19 safety protocols at home and in public.
Abari said these include regular handwashing with soap, use of hand sanitisers and face masks, as well as physical distancing of two meters from other people.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has expressed willingness to partner with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in the implementation of its new sensitisation and awareness campaign strategy, in the fight against COVID-19.
Mr Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, in a statement on Saturday, said the minister stated this during a meeting with the Director-General (D-G), of NOA, Dr Garba Abari.
Ogunleye said the meeting was also attended by the Chairman of FCT Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Dr Aliyu Modibbo.
The minister explained that the partnership was aimed at reinvigorating the FCTA’s community communication strategies in the bid to save lives and livelihoods, which were being destroyed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, regretted that many residents of FCT, were in denial of the virus and the dangers it posed, and therefore, not taking the necessary preventive measures against its spread.
“This therefore, necessitated the employment of new communication strategies to spread the message,” Bello said.
He noted the FCTA’s partnership with the organised private sector, coordinated by the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee, saw the FCT waging a largely successful campaign against COVID-19, with the provision and deployment of adequate bed spaces, palliatives, medical supplies, equipment and personnel.
He said it was agreed at the meeting that an ad-hoc committee would be established to work out new communication strategies to be deployed in the next phase of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Bello explained that the committee, which would be co-chaired by Abari and Modibbo, consisted of members drawn from the FCTA, NOA and the Advisory Committee.
Responding, Abari said that the meeting further brought to the fore the robust partnership between the FCTA and the private sector, in the fight against the Coronavirus.
He said the new sensitisation strategy, to be tentatively known as the COVID-19 New Normal FCT Response, intended not to go beyond just creating awareness, but to begin the process of behaviour modification and change of the citizenry.
“This new strategy is intended to ensure that citizens take personal responsibility for their health.
“NOA, has the experience and expertise to take the new message to the streets, neighbourhood, places of worship and traditional institutions, and also create an awareness on the nexus that exists between the containment of the disease and personal responsibility,” Abari said.
According to the D-G, the NOA possesses the necessary expertise and experience to spread the new message.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), has expressed “deep concern” over the rising cases of rape and violence against women in Nigeria.
Abari, in a statement by Mr Paul Odenyi, the agency’s spokesman, decried the rising spate of rape cases and sexual violence against women, describing the situation as “an evil against humanity” and urging Nigerians to work together to end the trend.
“There is a need for immediate action; urgent action must be taken by parents, teachers, religious leaders and other players responsible for teaching good behaviour.
“Security agents, whose role it is to enforce the laws, must adopt stringent measures to protect the girl child. The problem has spread to all parts of the country. Rape is not just a crime against our culture, but also an offence against morality as preached by all religions.
“I am really disturbed about the situation. Where did we learn all these sexual violence and rape which is going on everywhere now?
“Is it in the Churches or Mosques? Or is it part of our culture? We must do something urgently to stop this problem and save our young ones,” he said.
He urged victims to speak up immediately through relevant bodies and seek medical support so as to overcome their traumatic experience.
Abari ordered state directorates of the agency to inculcate the anti-rape messages within the COVID-19 campaigns in order to educate Nigerians on the dangers of the menace .
Edited By: Edith Bolokor and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has lauded the staff of the agency (field officers) for their dedication to the fight against COVID-19.
Abari particularly commended them raising awareness and advocacy as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the country.
The director general commended the staff in a statement by the agency’s Head of Press Unit, Mr Paul Odenyi.
The NOA chief, who described as exceptional and unprecedented, efforts made so far by the staff to help curb the spread of the virus, also acknowledged their “selfless dedication” to duty throughout the virus lockdown period.
He added that even in the face of limited resources, staff still did their best in sensitising citizens to the need to adhere strictly to the safety protocol recommended by the government and the World Health Organisation.
“I thank NOA staff for their generosity of spirit and for their industry in sourcing partnerships, which have sustained the COVID-19 sensitisation at the community level.
“Management takes note of this ingenuity and sacrifice.
“In spite of the paucity of funds, they ensured that the people remain well-informed to stay safe.
“This conduct is a clear reflection of the fact that NOA staff are genuine practitioners of the patriotism which they preach,” Abari said.
NOA boss, however, called on staff of the agency to remain vigilant and resolute in advocacy for hygienic practices as well as compliance with protocols and advisories from government and health workers, especially now that community transmission appeared to be on the increase
“This is not the time to relax. The number of infected people from community transmission has far outnumbered those who got infected from outside the country.
“This means that as community mobilisation officers and state directorates, you must add more efforts to reach the innermost parts of our communities,” he added
He further urged the staff to remain undeterred by the difficulties of the circumstances in which they work, and to continue to justify the setting up of the institution more than thirty years ago.
“We must remain focused and zealous in the days ahead until COVID-19 is eradicated in Nigeria,” said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday performed the virtual inauguration of the Steering Committee of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign.”
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in a statement, said the vice president is the chairman of the committee.
The virtual inauguration was anchored from the Presidential Villa.
The Federal Government is expanding access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities being one of Nigeria’s most effective weapons against infectious diseases as efforts are being ramped up to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was attended by members of the committee drawn from the Federal Executive Council, states, local government areas, civil society ogranisations and the organised private sector.
“We are embarking upon this initiative at a most auspicious time; as our nation confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that expanding access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities is our most effective weapon against the scourge of infectious diseases.
“Ensuring the provision of adequate WASH facilities in our communities is the cornerstone of our efforts to strengthen the resilience of our public health structures beyond the present challenge of COVID-19.
“This is the basis of our commitment to ending open defecation and more broadly to raising the standards in the WASH sector,” he said.
Osinbajo spoke on the progress made since the adoption and implementation of the national road map for WASH in 2016.
He said that more local governments across the country had so far been certified as Open Defecation Free according to the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Protocol.
“The key objectives of this effort include the implementation of a campaign to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
“This will involve mobilising support and resources (i) at the highest political level and (ii) within the private sector, the communities and from development partners.”
The vice president said that the campaign on sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria would create a pool of resource persons to support local actors to implement this nationwide transformational sanitation agenda.
According to him, thecampaign will mobilise various strata of the society to imbibe a new culture of safe sanitation through behavioural change communication and advocacy strategies.
He said mechanisms for tracking progress and sharing knowledge and lessons learnt would be established.
On the terms of reference for the steering committee, Osinbajo said the group would meet bi-annually to, among other things, provide strategic oversight to the implementation of the Clean Nigeria Campaign.
“The committee will oversee and advise on the implementation and strategic orientation proposed by the Clean Nigeria Secretariat to execute the campaign.
“Facilitate maximum synergy between the Clean Nigeria Secretariat and other relevant government agencies including security and law enforcement agencies and stakeholders towards meeting the campaign objectives.
“Facilitate access of the Clean Nigeria Secretariat to technical and financial resources for effective implementation of the campaign.
“Receive and review progress reports of implementation of the campaign.
“Ensure that results of the campaign monitoring outcomes are well communicated to all stakeholders.’’
The vice president commended the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and other partners.
He lauded them for their engagements towards achieving the campaign objectives as approved by the Federal Executive Council and in line with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) for Water and Sanitisation.
Members of the committee include the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Mr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Sen. Bello Mandiya and Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli.
Also in the committee are the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Paulen Tallen, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mohammed Bello.
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr Garba Abari, SSA to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Adefulire, Representative of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and Representative of Organised Private Sector in WASH (OPSWASH), Dr Nicholas Igwe.
Others are Representatives of Network of NGOs in Water and Sanitation, Mr Benson Attah and Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Emmanuel Awe.
The Special Assistant to the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Taoheed Amusan, is also a member of the committee.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)