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Open defecation: Women group charges Govt. to intensify efforts

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…Advocates stringent punitive measures

By Stella Obi

THE Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) Oyo State chapter has called on the Government at all levels, to intensify campaigns on both the conventional and the social Media on the need for people to desist from open defecation saying it is a habit that contaminates the environment and spreads diseases.

  Mrs  Bushurah Oloso, the state chairperson made this known on Tuesday while addressing newsmen in Ibadan ahead of 2021 FOMWAN WEEK with the theme ” My Community, My Pride: Promoting General Well-being & Stopping Open Defecation”.

  She noted that a  healthy people is a healthy community and a happy nation, expressing concern about the report that places Nigeria as the first among countries with the prevalence of open defecation in the world.

  According to her the report which was presented by UNICEF stated that about 47million Nigerians practice open defecation and this really gives cause for concern.

  “To show the seriousness of the crisis and the problem at hand, the Nigerian President in November, 2018 declared a state of emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector,” she said.

  According to the state chairman, the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) which is a network of women organizations in the Country with core values of protecting the interest of its members and contributing to their overall health, literacy and empowerment is taking the campaign against open defecation to adopt communities with a view to assessing the problem in the areas, and educating the residents on the effects of indiscriminate practice of open defecation.

  She said: “We will be suggesting to the appropriate Community heads, market leaders, elected officials and other stakeholders the need to make provision for more facilities local and modern for people at home and at work places to use and dispose of their faeces.”

  “It is worthy of note that Islam emphasizes personal and environmental cleanliness as every time and place is for worship, a clean environment promotes good religious habits.”

  Mrs Oloso informed that FOMWAN is also advocating stringent punitive measures to discourage the practice adding that some states have already made laws to prohibit open defecation.

  “In line with this, we want to commend the Oyo State House of Assembly for making open defecation a punishable offence. The House in December, 2020 passed the Oyo State Open Defecation Bill, 2020 which when assented to by Governor Seyi Makinde prescribes a fine of #5000 for anyone who defecated in the open in any part of the State.

  “Also, anyone who owns a property and does not provide toilet facility within three months from the commencement of the bill commits an offence and he/she is liable on conviction for three months imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both.”

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