Yobe State Government has declared war against open defecation, communicable diseases and environmental degradation through advocacy and community sensitization.
Declaring the war on Monday in Potiskum town, Governor Mai Mala Buni, represented by his Deputy Idi Barde Gubana, said the dangers and consequences of open defecation in the state ranging from infestation of diseases such as typhoid, cholera, malaria among others.
He said it has also negative effect on the environment by polluting the air with bad odor and making the land inhabitable.
“The significance of personal and community hygiene to safeguard human health is irrefutable; hence according to UNICEF 892,000,000 people are practicing open defecation world over.
“India is ranked first with high rate of open defecation in the world and Nigerian is second. While in Africa, Nigeria is ranked first.
“This among other reasons promoted President Muhammadu Buhari to signed Executive Order 009 on 21st November, 2019 and set a target for eradicating open defecation in Nigeria on or before 2025”, he noted.
In a bid to complement federal government’s effort, Governor Buni said the state government deemed it fit to take the advocacy campaign against the menace to the 17 local government areas to sensitize people on the dangers and negative consequences of open defecation.
According to him, the move is to protect the environment, culture, norms and values as people, adding to be an open defecation free society also reduces the incidence of disease and other anti social behaviour in the state.
“When open defecation is not properly managed, the diseases causing organism in human excreta find their way back to our food and water through run off, while in some instances houseflies can perch on these open excreta and settle on edibles, thereby infecting those that ingest the food or drinks”, Buni stressed.
The governor then called on the local government councils, community heads and traditional rulers and other important stakeholders to set up action and assist in preventing open defecation through sensitization of community; support the community to construct household latrines; construct latrines in public places, markets, motor parks, schools and hospitals among others.
On the problems of environmental degradation, indiscriminate felling of trees and their deteriorating effect, Buni said, “the environment if not fully protected from human interference and this has resulted in increased pressure on the land for farming, indiscriminate felling of life trees for fuel wood collection, charcoal production and illegal mining activities.
” This volatile situation has, therefore, paved way to desert encroachment, land degradation and siltation of river banks and consequent negative effect of promoting poverty, retarding agricultural activities,m and socioeconomic growth and development of the people and communities in the state.”