Open defecation responsible for waterborne diseases in Nigeria – NGO

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NGOWater, Sanitation for All, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has said that 0pen defecation remains the biggest challenge to reducing water borne diseases in Nigeria.

The Coordinator of the NGO, Mr Yunusa Abdullahi, made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Abdullahi said it was saddening to note that no fewer than 33 million people still practised open defecation in Nigeria.

According to him, the migration of people from the rural to urban areas has made the demand for water supply to be on the increase.

He said that many urban settlements lacked hygiene facilities, resulting in open defecation.

He explained that open defecation posed a threat to the people as the faeces was eventually washed down drinking water sources.

Abdullahi called for attitudinal change to reducing waterborne diseases, saying it was important for Nigerians to cultivate the habit of cleanliness.

He said good hygiene, often termed as `a personal thing’, should reflect in the daily lives of Nigerians and that people should not be compelled to maintain clean environments.

“Sanitation starts with the individual, those things you do involuntarily become your attitude.

You wake up in the morning, you use the toilet, you flush the toilet, you brush your teeth, you wash your body before going to work, nobody prompts you to do it, you do it, it comes voluntarily and becomes a part of you.”