NOA seeks traditional rulers partnership to end open defecation in Ebonyi


The National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Thursday sought the support of the traditional, community heads and youth leaders across communities in Ebonyi in order to make the state open defecation free.

Dr. Emmanuel Abah, the Agency’s Director in the State made the remark at the Stakeholders’ Sensitisation  Programme on Open-defecation Free (OPF) in Iboko community, Izzi Local Government Area.

The programme is in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water of Resources.

Abah decried the national survey that recorded Ebonyi as state with the highest number of persons practising open defecation and noted that there was need for attitudinal change towards the act across communities.

“We have come to sensitise the people on the need to set structures that can make us to achieve open defecation free in Ebonyi.

“We are calling on village heads, traditional rulers, and youth heads to support the campaign exercise and ensure that the people have the mind set of making use of the toilet and not open defecation.

“Open defecation can cause spread of diseases, ranging from cholera, whooping cough among others. We can avert some of these infectious diseases if we practice the use of toilet.

“Yes, this campaign begins today with Ebonyi North Senatorial districts and we are going to take it round to the other zones, like Ebonyi South and Central,” Abah stated.

Mr. Silas Nkwuda, traditional ruler of Ndieze Autonomous Community, Izzi Local Government Area said the campaign was a welcome development and pledged to carry the message back to the grassroots in the area.

“We are going to form committee from village to village to this effect with the leaders of every group, including youths and women to ensure that we achieve open defecation free in our area. If possible, we have bye-laws that can be enforced on the people,” he stated.

Mr. Sunday Opoke, General Manager, Ebonyi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, said that  open defecation across states of the federation was not just about access to toilets

According to Opoke, “it is about generating demand for toilets and changing people’s behaviour regarding toilet usage.

“The Clean Nigerian campaign is a transformational and behavioural change campaign which seeks to mobilise high level political support, resources and the entire populace toward building a new culture of safe sanitation,” Opoke said.

It recalls that the Campaign is aimed at implementing the National Roadmap toward making Nigeria Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025.

Mr. Nkwuda Festus, Head of Department, Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Izzi Local Council said to end open defecation, laws must be enforced on people and create conducive environment for living.

“We must take the massage to councillors and chairmen in all nooks and crannies and support the Federal Government campaign in achieving Open Defecation Free in Nigeria by 2025,” Festus advised.

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