Oyo vows to end open defecation

Written by on October 18, 2023

The Oyo State Government, on Wednesday, vowed to deal decisively with individuals who defecate in the open and indiscriminately dump refuse.

The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Dotun Oyelade, made this known at a two-day media dialogue on open defecation-free in the South-West States, held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He said the move to penalise open defecators and indiscriminate dumping of refuse was part of efforts aimed at achieving the national target of ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2027.

The commissioner said, “The state Governor, Seyi Makinde, has unequivocally mandated the Ministry of Justice to ensure the prosecution of anyone who dumps, refuses or defecates openly. The penalty, when fully in place, would promote behavioural change in the hygiene of citizens and curb open defecation.

“The government is willing to effect the necessary behavioural change in open defecation, working with UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene action plan. In this state, we have adopted the WASH action plan; if need be, we will back it up with legislation.

“And the Ministry of Justice has been mandated to penalise defecators and those dumping refuse in illegal sites. Also, law enforcement agencies will do their bit. It is sad that Nigeria has taken over from Egypt by recording the highest rate of open defecation. And the government will deal decisively with open defecators.” He insisted.

Oyelade, who said the government, before 2027, would ensure much improvement in the social menaces and all other diseases plaguing the state, however, appealed to the residents to patronise government-approved waste consultants and stop the unhygienic practice of open defecation.

“To this end, billboards will be erected at major junctions and entry points of the state, to discourage anyone from practising any environmental infractions, and the penalties. The government is bent on ensuring residents obey the law of social etiquette.”

Earlier, UNICEF WASH Specialist Monday Johnson revealed that, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 48 million Nigerians are practicing open defecation.

Johnson said that Oyo State had one of the highest data on unhygienic practices of open defecation in the southwest, UNICEF was glad that it had progressively started actions to end open defecation.

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