Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative (GERI), an NGO, has called for an end to open defecation through the implementation of policies that would increase access to sanitation among the poor.
Dr Elizabeth Jeiyol, Executive Director of GERI, made the call in a statement on Thursday in Abuja to commemorate the Eorld Toilet Day, stating that the day is celebrated to encourage behavioral change amongst the people.
According to the statement, the theme of this year’s World Toilet Day, “Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change,” highlights the need for sustainable sanitation and hygiene in tackling climate change and preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
“This is very important as almost 10% of the world’s population still practice open defecation.
“And Nigeria is at the top of the list with over 46 million people still practicing open defecation, with 25% of women in Nigeria lacking privacy for defecation and menstrual hygiene management.
“GERI therefore supports the call for sustainable sanitation as a resilient mechanism to tackle climates change and the productive use of waste to safely boost agriculture and also reduce and capture emissions for greener energy consequently, to help achieve SDG 6, which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
“The Board, Management and Staff of GERI also wishes to felicitate, on this year’s World Toilet Day, with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) as it successfully transforms into the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF) to deliver at the scale required to achieve sanitation and hygiene leaving no one behind,” it said.
The statement added that through catalytic funding to countries with the heaviest burden and least ability to respond, sanitation and hygiene will be achieved focusing on four strategic objectives.
These objectives are expanding household sanitation; ensuring menstrual health and hygiene; providing sanitation and hygiene in schools and health care facilities; and supporting innovative sanitation solutions.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi