The United Nations, on Friday, applauded the Jigawa State government for becoming the first state in Nigeria to achieve the open defecation-free status.
It then charged other state governments in Nigeria to emulate Jigawa by working hard to rid their domains of open defecation activities in order to halt diseases caused by poor sanitation.
The Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, gave the commendation and charge during her address at the ongoing World Toilet Summit 2022, organised by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Abuja.
She said, “I want to congratulate the government and people of Jigawa State. It is clear that Jigawa is becoming model. In that state, six million people came together to end open defecation.
“This was through concerted efforts of all partners with the government. I would like to seize this opportunity to deliver to you the congratulations from the UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“She is very excited about this great achievement and hopes that the Federal Government will continue making strong steps towards the remaining states to achieve a nationwide open defecation-free status.”
Munduate added, “I am pleased to announce that UNICEF will continue to support the government of Nigeria. We remain committed to work with the state governments to drive sanitation and other development interventions that will promote the welfare of children and women in Nigeria.”
Speaking after receiving an award for his state from the Federal Government, through the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, the Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, assured the United Nations and the World Toilet Organisation that the state would sustain the status.
“As difficult as it is to attain this status, it is more difficult to sustain it. But I want to assure the World Toilet Organisation and other stakeholders that we will sustain this status,” he stated.
On his part, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), told delegates at the global summit that 85 states in Nigeria were currently open defecation-free.
Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Al’s tasked other state governments to strive harder towards becoming open defecation-free, as he assured them that the Federal Government would continue to give them the necessary support.