Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians to contribute to the government’s efforts on sanitation by taking action to avoid open defecation.
He made this statement on Tuesday at the official roll out of the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ Campaign under the National programme to End Open Defecation in Nigeria
“The loss of lives and billions of naira to preventable water and sanitation related diseases as a result of inadequate basic water supply and sanitation services is huge and should be brought to an end.
“As a Nation we simply cannot afford the huge costs including fatalities caused by preventable water and sanitation related diseases as a result of inadequate WASH services.
“There is no need to debate the point that sanitation is a major public health issue and that poor sanitation adversely impacts us all.
“The World Bank report on the economic impact of poor sanitation due to use of unsanitary or shared toilets and open defecation, estimates that Nigeria loses N455 billion annually, with open defecation accounting for a third of this amount. These costs include health care, loss of productivity, premature deaths, poor educational outcomes, among others.
“But perhaps some of the more dire costs of open defecation are those that cannot be quantified in monetary terms, the social costs, loss of dignity, lack of privacy and increased vulnerability to physical attacks and violence especially for women and girls,” the Vice President added.