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Enugu LGA, Igbo- Etiti Launches Law Against Open Defecation

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Tough time awaits any individual who engages in open defecation in Igbo- Etiti Council Area of Enugu State, as a byelaw prohibiting the uncivilized act has been formally lunched in the locality.

The official launch and dissemination of the byelaw which was enacted by the legislative arm of the local government area in 2021 after scaling through the first to third readings, took place weekend at the Council Headquarters in Ogbede.

Speaking at the occasion, representative of UNICEF, who is also a Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) Specialist, Mr. Timi Kiakubu, expressed joy that the law has been put in place in the area.

He noted that “this is in consonance with the Federal government and State plan of making the country open defecation free by 2025, revealing that only two local government areas in South East Nigeria, Anambra State to precise, are currently open Defecation free.

The UNICEF Staff, disclosed that Enugu State has already declared emergency on WASH, and has also constituted and launched the inter- Ministerial Committee on (WASH).

According to him, the byelaw is a very important step towards achieving the goal of ending open defecation and accelerating access to Safety managed sanitation and hygiene services, adding that “this is an opportunity for all Stakeholders to drive this Campaign to end open dedication.

The international organization however, applauded the leadership of Igbo – Etiti Council area and the Dr. Frank Omeje led State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (EN RUWASSA) as well as the Special Adviser SPA to the State governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Water Resources, Hon. Anthony Dubem Onyia (Jr) for their commitment in accelerating results of (WASH) in the state.

He said this presents an opportunity to establish partnerships between government, Civil Society, private sector and the Communities to achieve sustainable results for WASH.

“UNICEF, remains committed to build capacities and skills on water and sanitation, on social mobilization techniques, on hygiene promotion approaches to ensure the State and LGAs can deliver on their core mandate.

“We look forward to accelerating an open defecation free Igbo- Etiti LGA in the second half of 2022.

The State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, represented by his (SPA) on Water Resources, Hon. Onyia, in his remark expressed appreciation to UNICEF for its robust partnership with the state over the years, stressing that it’s interventions in several sectors has impacted a great deal on the lives of her citizens.

He stated that his administration is seriously committed towards making the State open defecation free by 2025, in line with the federal government’s target.

The governor regretted that Nigeria is currently second in the globe on open defecation, adding that his administration has declared emergency on the act.
Ugwuanyi, hailed the Igbo -Etiti Council boss, for his proactivenes, saying the local government has placed the State on the map, hinting that
his government is targeting at least, four local government areas to be declared open defecation free before end 2022.

Launching the bye law earlier, Igbo -Etiti Council Chairman, Hon. Anthony Nwodo, thanked the State government, for proving the local government the enabling environment, even as he expressed appreciation to UNICEF for its role in ensuring that the dream of enacting the law becomes a reality.

He said the official launch of the byelaw has given teeth for enforcement, as it is now an offence for anyone to defecate openly in Igbo Etiti- local government area of Enugu State.

Nwodo, who said the LGA will embarked on Sensitization of its citizens, said the development will now make people to dispose their human waste product in appropriate manner “because, proper disposal of waste is good for our health and wellbeing.

“The byelaw has provisions for enforcement, provision for fines for violators. So, our duty is to get everybody to buy into the project and make sure that it works, because it will help in restoring sanity in our environments.

“We are going to partner with the State government and UNICEF in providing more toilet facilities in our schools, markets, hospitals and other public places where people will pay, and it will also serve as a means of empowerment for our people.

Managing Director of (ENRUWASSA), Dr. Frank Omeje, in a brief comment, said Igbo Etiti Council area has set the pace, calling on other LGAs to emulate them, stating that it’s the hope of the state government via the agency in making the entire state open defecation free by 2025.

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