New Telegraph

World Toilet Day: Minister Commends 40,000 Communities For Achieving ODF Status

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev has commended activities that support making Nigeria Open Defecation-Free (ODF) in the country, saying 40,000 communities across the country have been declared ODF.

He, however, affirmed that more needed to be done through sustained campaigns and sensitisation in urban and rural communities on the need for people to desist from open defecation.

His remarks came as Nigeria joined the world community on Sunday to mark World Toilet Day, which is commemorated on November 19 every year.

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. It was first established in 2001 by the World Toilet Organisation.

World Toilet Day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation.

World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.

By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG #6, aim to reach everyone with sanitation, halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase recycling and safe reus

This year’s theme, ‘ Accelerating Change’, aims to inspire people to take personal action to help improve toilets and sanitation systems.

Toilets are a foundation stone of public health and play a critical role in protecting the environment.

To leave so many people behind without safe toilets puts in jeopardy the entire 2030 Agenda, with the poorest people, particularly women and girls, paying the highest price in terms of poor health, missed education, loss of productivity and general insecurity.

The World Toilet Day 2023 campaign asks people to ‘be like a hummingbird’ – to take simple actions to help accelerate change.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 3.5 billion people are still living without safe toilets; 419 million people still practise ‘open defecation’; and in these situations, diseases spread, killing 1,000 children every single day while two billion people – a quarter of the world’s population – lack basic handwashing facilities at home to wash their hands with soap and water.

These pose a threat to nature and everyone’s health, particularly women, girls, and other vulnerable groups, according to the WHO.

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