Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State with the support of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched prohibition of open defecation by-law in consonance with the federal government and state governments plan of making Nigeria open defecation free by 2025.
Speaking after the launch of the prohibition by-law the Executive Chairman of Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area, Anthony Nwodo in company of SSA to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Water, Anthony Dubem Onyia said that launching of the law has given it the teeth to punish anybody cut disobeying the rules.
According to him, launching the law was the initial stage of getting the local government to be open defecation free, hence the council started with the enabling laws to give tips to enforcement.
“The first stage is really to sensitise people to get the toilets in their immediate vicinity and secondly to have people to get to use those toilet facilities,” he said.
On what the council will do to take care of public places, Nwodo said: “It’s all about the thing of the mind, in terms of the public areas, like markets, hospitals, schools, we will do our own bit to make sure that we have appropriate facilities, we will combine our resources with the look at the states and UNICEF. To make open defecation free, we also use it as a means of employment.”
He commented UNICEF for a complementary robust partnership the council is enjoying which he said was why the local government as of today is the first out of 17 local government areas to be declared open Defecation free in the state very soon.
The chairman also pointed out that the council would create employments through development of toilets “some of these can be used as empowerment schemes. You can have toilet facilities where people pay, it is means of empowering people. So, we also think about innovatively how to make that happen, all the other markets, the facilities are already been built. We will soon complete and launch them and create sustainable ecosystems for them to be maintained. So, we’re working on all fronts and we hope and pray that the people will support us to achieve the qualification.”
He also promised to collaborate with UNICEF and Enugu state rural water supply and sanitation agency, ERUWSSA for the provision of water, since Provision of water leads to sanitation and health and is also indispensable as far as WASH program is concerned.
“We are already working with UNICEF and ERUWSSA and the Ministry of Water Resources Enugu to kick start the rehabilitation of boreholes which will help to facilitate this process and in due time,” he said.
In a good will message, the UNICEF Wash Specialist, Timi Kiabuki on behalf of UNICEF Enugu Field office, said the by-law was an important step towards achieving the goal of ending open defecation and accelerating access to safely manage sanitation and hygiene services, saying that it is an opportunity for all stakeholders to drive the campaign to an end.
Enugu State, he said, had already declared emergency on WASH and had also constituted and launched the inter-Ministerial committee on WASH, drafted the ODF Road Map for the state and rolled out ODF Interventions in Igbo-Etiti local government.
The Wash Specialist noted that UNICEF would remain committed to building capacities and skills on water and sanitation on social mobilisation techniques, on hygiene promotion approaches to ensure the state and local government areas can deliver on their core mandate expecting Igbo-Etiti to be declared open defecation free in the second half of 2022.
“I am extremely delighted that the leadership of Igbo-Etiti LGA with the support of the state Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (ERWASSA) and the special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources is committed to accelerate results for water supply, sanitation and hygiene, private sector and the communities to achieve sustainable results for water supply, sanitation and hygiene,” he said.
Some of the people who attended the function were the councilors from all the wards, the traditional rulers from all the communities in the LGA, some heads of schools among others, promised to take the message home to sensitise their people.