UNICEF urges Nigeria to stamp out open defecation

09:40, July 08, 2011      

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The United Nations Children's Fund ( UNICEF) has stressed the urgent need for the Nigerian government to stamp out open defecation and reduce the high rate of water- borne disease in rural communities across the country.

The organization representative in Nigeria, Suomi Sakai, made the call in Abuja on Wednesday while reacting to the large number of communities still practicing open defecation.

A UNICEF report presented during the National Environmental Sanitation Day in June, disclosed that 33 million Nigerians still practiced open defecation.

Sakai urged the country's government to enhance ongoing efforts toward developing the sanitation sector by evolving and transforming policies that could bring about better results.

She said the implementation of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach had made significant impact in addressing sanitation challenges in the country.

"It's a national strategy to try to work on open defecation through a method called Community-Led Total sanitation (CLTS)," she told reporters.

"To help the communities really help themselves in terms of making their environment better, to make sure that every household can have their own toilet," Sakai said.

"It's something that needs to become a movement and I think that's where we are helping in trying to make it become a movement and giving technical support on how to do that," the official added.

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