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Open Defecation: WaterAid Provides Modern Toilets Facilities For Enugu Market

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) The joy of traders at the highly density Abakpa market in Enugu, Southeast, Nigeria, Wednesday knew no bound, as water Sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promoter, WaterAid, Nigeria, formally handed over to management of the market modern toilets/urinary facilities built by the organization as part of its contribution towards ending open defecation in the area.

African Examiner gathered that before the intervention of the organization, open defecation in every nook and crannies of the market was the order of the day, a development that poses serious threat to the health of members of the public who patronises the highly populated  trade arena.

Speaking during the handing over ceremony held at the market, Special Adviser to the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on Water resources, Mr. Dubem Onyia (junior),
who spoke via the state director, water quality control, Engr. Fred Okonkwo, stressed the need for the beneficiaries to imbibe maintenance culture so that the facilities will be durable and serve its purpose.

According to him, the state government is quite impressed with what WaterAid is doing in the state, urging it not to relent, even as he applauded the leadership of Enugu East council area where the market is domiciled for providing the enabling environment, urging the market handlers to maintain and manage the project properly so as  to ensure that the state is open defecation free by the year 2030.

The project was handled by an Enugu based non-governmental organization (NGO), Global Health Awareness Research Foundation (GHARF), with support from WaterAid.

In his remark, the State Programme Lead- Enugu, WaterAid. Mr. Terkimbi Tom, said: “It is my pleasure to be a part of the handover of these toilets and urinary which we provided through our CSO partner the Global Health Awareness and Research Foundation (GHARF) under the Sanitation Marketing, Expansion and Scale-up (SES II) project.

He said the project is “implemented in Nsukka, Ezeagu, Isi-Uzo, Uzo-Wani Local Government Areas and in Enugu Township, comprising the Enugu South, Enugu East and Enugu North LGAs.

“Before now, Abakpa market had lack of sanitation facilities and was a beehive of open defecation, but thanks to WaterAid, the story is changing, adding that the project comprising provision of four (4) Water Easy Toilet (WET) installations which uses little water to flush, affordable, Odorless, prevents flies and reptiles from going in and out of the toilet. 

“In addition to this, four urinary compartments: This is one of WaterAid’s contributions to ending Open defecation in Enugu State by 2025 where aside households, public places like Markets, Public Healthcare Centers (PHCs), Churches, Schools, Police Stations etc have and use sanitation and hygiene facilities.

He stated that “This also serves as a model to the government and other stakeholders to replicate in the state and beyond. pointing out that “as part of the sustainability plan, this facility is been handed over to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, to the Enugu East Local Government Area Council and finally to the Abakpa Market Executives to manage.

“I urge the Market Executives to support their members to tap into the opportunities in the Sanitation Value Chain. We are willing to continue to partner with the Enugu State Government, Private Sector and other stakeholders in WASH service delivery.

The Professor Obioma led GHARF, in its comment at the event through its Admin officer, Maria Nnenna Okolo, stated that the facilities where put in place with the aim of encouraging the traders to adopt hygiene promoting practices, stop open defecation and increase uptake/use of toilets facilities, especially the Water Easy toilet (WET).

She noted that high percentage of Nigerians defecate in the open, and that “open defecation appears to be the accepted norm because it is a practice that has been adopted as a way of life. This practice is done without shame or any linkage to the high rate of infections and disease associated with it.


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