By Ndidichukwu Odoh

UNICEF EU Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet project at Sumaila Model School, Kano State

As the world targets to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Nigeria needs to add 2 million toilets per year between 2019 and 2025 (14million) to achieve the target of Universal Basic Sanitation.

UNICEF says over 47 million Nigerians practice open defecation while current delivery of improved toilet is approximately 160,000 per year, which makes it second among countries practicing open defecation globally.

In its European Union funded project “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet”, UNICEF is advocating for a stronger sanitation and hygiene promotion and awareness creation , and efforts to eliminated open defecation by 2025, to improve the health of Nigerians.

Speaking at a two-day media dialogue on sanitation, in Kano State, UNICEF Water , Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist Bioye Ogunjobi on Tuesday said it is important for Nigeria to eliminate open defecation and this can be achieved through construction of more toilets.

“our support to Nigeria is to see that every child and family has access to clean water, toilet and clean environment. There are over 155 million people without access to improved sanitation and 47 million Nigerians do not use toilets” said Ogunjobi who also stated that poor WASH facilities in Nigeria leads to regular disease outbreaks.

“the UNICEF European Union funded project ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ campaign hopes to get 47 million Nigerians to use the toilet and stop open defecation” Ohunjobi said adding that the project will ensure increased access to improved sanitation in rural communities.