Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, Nigeria.
November 19, 2016
CENTRE LSD JOINS GLOBAL COMMUNITIES TO COMMEMORATE 2016 WORLD TOILET DAY (WTD)
African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) joins the international communities, relevant stakeholders and civil society partners to commemorate the 2016 World Toilet Day (WTD). In a statement released by the Centre LSD Nutrition and WASH Programme Officer, Mr. Ishaya Elisha Birma, November 19 every year has been marked as World Toilet Day to reiterate the importance of sanitation and hygiene in homes and at workplaces as key to sustainable development.
With the theme ‘Toilets and Jobs’, the 2016 World Toilet Day theme encapsulates the importance or lack of it, sanitation can impact on livelihoods. Toilets play a crucial role of creating a strong economy. Providing toilets to people in rural areas currently practicing open defecation is estimated to result in benefits that exceed costs between five and seven times (Hutton, 2015). In the same vein, toilets in the workplace increase productivity because access levels to toilets in the workplace reflects access levels to toilets in the home. The WHO/UNICEF 2015 reports that only 40% of the urban population in Sub-Saharan Africa has access to a domestic toilet while meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goal target of 50% of people having access to sanitation and safe water is estimated to reduce sick days by 322 million every year, representing an annual health sector saving of $7billion (Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), 2005).
However, it is in the light of this that WTD is celebrated globally by government, MDAs, private organizations, as well as civil society partners, all to discourage open defecation and highly promote the establishment of toilets for households, thereby improving sanitation among all communities. Thus, it was posited by the UN General Assembly that the provision of proper toilets could save lives of more than 200,000 children around the world. In countries where open defecation is most widely practiced are the same countries with the highest numbers of under-five children, child deaths and high level of under nutrition and poverty, as well as large wealth disparities. Moreover, over 1 billion people defecate in the open due to lack of proper toilet facilities.
Notably, it is in view of this that African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development making a clarion call to all and sundry to join the rest of the world to eradicate open defecation from the rural communities of Kebbi State, in North West Nigeria to other states across the country, as well as the world over. Rural communities who have limited number of toilets must be sensitized and supported to establish toilets in a move to ending open defecation, while sanitation and hygiene must be set as a top priority in promoting safe and disease-free environment where people, especially pregnant and lactating women, as well as children are at a vulnerable risk.
The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development is implementing the Nutrition/WASH component of the Feed the Future Nigeria Livelihoods Project in two LGAs of Kebbi State funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and coordinated by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Centre LSD is working with relevant stakeholders to support 12,000 extremely vulnerable households in 2 LGAs of Kebbi State to improve their nutrition and hygiene status