Oyo state takes decisive measures to eradicate open defecation

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Oyo state takes decisive measures to eradicate open defecation
Oyo state takes decisive measures to eradicate open defecation

The Oyo State Government has taken a strong stance against open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping, vowing to penalize individuals who engage in such practices.

This commitment was reiterated by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Dotun Oyelade, during a two-day media dialogue on achieving open defecation-free status in the South-West States. The event was held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Oyelade emphasized that these measures are part of the state’s efforts to reach the national goal of eradicating open defecation in Nigeria by 2027.

He revealed that Governor Seyi Makinde has directed the Ministry of Justice to ensure the prosecution of those involved in open defecation and illegal refuse dumping.

The penalties, once fully enforced, aim to encourage behavioral changes in hygiene practices and deter open defecation.

The state government is committed to instigating the necessary behavioral shifts to combat open defecation and is collaborating with UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene action plan (WASH).

In addition to adopting the WASH action plan, Oyo State is prepared to introduce supporting legislation.

Oyelade further stated that the Ministry of Justice is tasked with penalizing open defecators and those who dump refuse illegally.

Law enforcement agencies will also play their part in this initiative. Nigeria, which now has the highest rate of open defecation, has overtaken Egypt in this regard. The government is determined to address this issue decisively.

The commissioner also urged residents to use government-approved waste disposal services and refrain from unhygienic practices like open defecation.

To deter environmental violations and inform residents about the penalties involved, billboards will be erected at major intersections and entry points in the state.

UNICEF’s WASH Specialist, Monday Johnson, disclosed that data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that approximately 48 million Nigerians practice open defecation.

He noted that Oyo State has one of the highest rates of open defecation in the southwest and commended the state’s proactive efforts to combat this issue.