Access to sanitation has been on the decline from 30 per cent in 2010 to 28 per cent in 2015. Open defecation has been on the increase and there was not a single LGA in Nigeria that is open defecation free.
Suleiman Adamu, the Minister for Water Resources, has said Nigeria is set to become the world’s most notorious country in open defecation.
Adamu stated this on Saturday while speaking on the theme: ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Sustained Development’ at the 3rd Founder’s Day ceremony of Edo University, Iyamho.
The minister, represented at the event by Ahmad Saliu, the Managing Director of Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, said Nigeria was unable to attain the Millennium Development Goals targets for water supply and sanitation because of poor investments, low capacity and other challenges.
According to him, the challenges are not limited to rural areas.
Adamu said: “Nigeria will become the number one open defecation practising country when Indian becomes open defecation free in October.
“Access to sanitation has been on the decline from 30 per cent in 2010 to 28 per cent in 2015. Open defecation has been on the increase and there was not a single LGA in Nigeria that is open defecation free.
“It is estimated that more than 48 million Nigerians practise open defecation and that placed Nigeria as second in the world (behind Indian).
“So far there are 10 LGAs in the country that have attained open defecation free status.”
Last year, the findings of Brookings Institute, based on a projection by the World Poverty Clock, showed that Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, with an estimated 87 million Nigerians thought to be living on less than $1.90a day.