By Bosede Olufunmi
Kano, Sept. 28, 2020 The National Orientation Agency (NOA), says it has begun the training of Community Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOS), to end open defecation in rural communities in Kano State.
The State Director of the agency, Mr Lawal Haruna, stated this at the inauguration of a one-day training exercise of NOA personnel in Kano in Monday.
Naija247news reports the training exercise is organised in collaboration between the agency and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR).
The workshop with theme: “Citizen’s Engagement towards Eradication of Open Defecation in Nigeria by 2025,” is designed to build the capacity of NOA personnel in 44 local government areas of the state, to end open defecation.
Haruna described open defecation as a human practice of defecating outside due to lack of access to toilet facilities, noting that open defecation exposed communities to serious health risks.
“Everyone is expected to stop open defecation where he or she resides to free Nigeria by 2025.
“Nigeria was ranked number four in the UNICEF rating index in the past few years, unfortunately, this year Nigeria is declared the number one in practising open defecation.
“We are training NOA staff from the 44 local government area in the state and 774 local government across the country on how to mobilise, advocate and sensitise people in communities to know that government has provided facilities to stop the practise and make Kano ODF free.
“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources which is to implement this order has chosen NOA to handle the community sensitisation campaign,’’ he said.
Mr Abdu Godwin, the Head of Planning and Monitoring, Clean Nigeria campaign in the ministry, said the ministry had embarked on comprehensive awareness creation activities to promote use of toilets to achieve open defecation in the country.
Godwin noted that the initiative was designed to address the situation in the country with the highest number of persons defecating in the open globally.
He disclosed that government would provide public sanitation facilities under the programme, adding that: “the next state to end ODF is Kano State with the size of its population.’’
He urged NOA officials to fight Open defecation and make all the 44 local government areas in the state Open Defecation Free (ODF).
One of the participants, Mrs Grace Musa, commended the agency for organising the exercise, adding that it would expose them to modern methods to educate the people on the ills of open defecation.
“This is an encouragement to train people in rural communities on the need to build toilets and better source of drinking water,’’ she said.