Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, has said that, if allowed to continue, the present sanitation crisis will undermine the overreaching ambition of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG) agenda.
Abubakar made this known while briefing newsmen on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 in Abuja on the forthcoming World Toilet Day to be celebrated on November 19.
According to him, a recent UN progress report shows that with just 11 years to the SDG deadline of 2030, Nigeria is seriously off track to achieve the set goal target.
“Let me remind all of us that with just 11 years to go to the 2030 deadline for the sake of people and the planet.
“We must redouble our efforts to provide universal access to toilet, leaving no one behind,” he said.
The SDG 6 is one of 17 SDGs established by the UN General Assembly in 2015. It calls for clean water and sanitation for all people.
The official word is “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation foe all’’.
He said that the Federal Government is committed to addressing the sanitation challenges including ending open defecation in the country and ensuring proper management of excreta.
“The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with critical stakeholders has reviewed and validated the 2005 National Environmental Sanitation Policy including its policy guidelines on safe excreta and sewage disposal among others,’’ he said.
He added that series of activities had been put in place to mark the 2019 World Toilet Day such as Sanitation Inspection of the Federal Government premises, and 10,000-man march against open defecation.
Others include enlightenment of the populace on issues of sanitation and hygiene which are of global concern, drawing attention to those people that were left behind without sanitation, and ending open defecation, among others.
Dr Rex Mpazanje, the Coordinator, Communicable and Non-Communicable Disease Cluster, World Health Organisation (WHO), said that the organisation would continue to support Nigeria on sanitation to enable the country attain the SDG 6 by 2030.
By Francisca Oluyole