Addressing the Burden of Open Defecation in Nigeria: Some policy recommendations
This brief discusses the issue of open defecation in Nigeria. It notes that open defecation is a major issue in Nigeria, as more than 47 million Nigerians (or 10 million households) are estimated to defecate in the open.1 The effects of this has been the deaths of thousands of people, mostly women and children under the age of five. The brief therefore proposes some policy recommendations that could be adopted to address the problem. These include: i. The need to speedily consider and pass the Bill for an Act to Establish Clean Nigeria Agency, 2021, so as to give a legal framework to all efforts to stop open defecation in Nigeria; ii. The National Assembly may wish to engage Ministries of Health, Environment and Water Resources to strategically create more funds to build and maintain easily accessible public toilets for males and females; iii. The National Orientation Agency (NOA) needs to embark on a deliberate and aggressive reorientation of Nigerians on the danger of open defecation, and the importance of good hygiene; iv. The National Assembly may wish to collaborate with State Houses of Assembly to advise their political executives to install CCTV cameras across the country to prevent crimes and also deter perpetrators of open defecation v. The Ministries of Health and Environment should be mandated by the National Assembly to assess the level of availability of toilet facilities in public places across the country and submit a detailed report; vi. The National Assembly may wish to encourage the federal government to collaborate with local and international donor partners in procuring and providing toilet facilities in public places in Nigeria.