Buhari signs Executive Order on open defecation

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday signed Executive Order 009 entitled, ‘The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order’.

The Order affirms Nigeria’s commitment to being open defecation free by 2025.

It also declares that the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from other key sector players across Nigeria be put into effect.

The Order establishes in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources a National Secretariat called “Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat”.

The Secretariat is authorised on behalf of the President to implement this Order by ensuring that all public places including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals and offices have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises.

The Order provides that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government shall cooperate with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.

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With the Order, the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly shall enact legislation on the practice of open defecation with appropriate sanctions and penalties.

It states that all development projects shall include the construction of sanitation facilities as an integral part of the approval and implementation process.

The Secretariat shall terminate when Nigeria is declared Open Defecation Free.

The Order directed all enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this Order.

A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) explained that the Executive Order 009 came into being against the background that Nigeria is ranked second amongst the nations in the world with the highest number of people practising open defecation estimated at over 46 million people – a practice which has had a negative effect on the populace, and has contributed to the country’s failure to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

It recalled that Buhari had described the statistics on open defecation and access to pipe-borne water service and sanitation as disturbing, and had declared commitment to implement the National Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan.

The President had declared a state of emergency on Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector, the action being imperative as it will reduce the high prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country which have caused preventable deaths;

The statement affirmed that Nigeria has committed to ending open defecation throughout the country by 2025 in consonance with her commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Executive Order takes effect from Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

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