Oyo Govt Collaborates UNICEF to Stop Open Defecation, Says Many Residents Have No Toilets

Oyo State has partnered with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to launch the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap for the state, the Clean Nigeria Campaign, and declared emergency in the Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) sector.

The step was taken to bridge the access gap to toilet hygiene in the state and the country at large.

Speaking at the launching ceremony held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, said that the government keyed into the project in line with its vision to make the state clean and to eradicate the challenge of open defecation.

The governor was represented by his deputy, Barr. Bayo Lawal, who charged the residents of the state on the importance of a safe, clean and healthy environment.

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He appealed to UNICEF to spread the kind of pilot project that is ongoing at Ona-Ara to all local government areas in Oyo State, saying that the state needs more of such pilot projects in both rural and urban centres.

The governor added that the Open Defecation Bill that was passed by the Oyo State House Assembly, will soon be assented to, adding that the bill will take care of not only environmental cleanliness but also deal with those who will run foul of government policies

He said: “Statistically, by ranking, UNICEF said Oyo State is second in open defecation index. That is too bad for us and I think the purpose of this gathering is to create awareness so that we will know where we stand in things of this nature. I want to say that, as a government, we embrace this challenge frontally”.

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Earlier, the Chief of WASH, UNICEF, Dr Jane Baevan regretted that more than half of the population of Oyo State have no toilet facilities.

In his remarks, the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasheed Ladoja who was also present, appreciated UNICEF and the Federal Government for partnering with Oyo State government in keeping the people safe, and to be able to live longer than they are now living.

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He said: “It is a welcome development that the UNICEF and the federal development partners are supporting us to keep our people safe, and to be able to live longer than we are now living”.

Earlier, the Chairman, Oyo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (OYORUWASSA), Engr. Najeem Omirinde, said that the Clean Nigeria Campaign is a transgenerational action-packed programme aimed at mobilising the populace towards imbibing the culture of safe and sustainable sanitation.

He therefore appreciated the United Nations through UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for assisting the Oyo State government, in its effort to achieve an Open Defecation Free status.


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