Nanpet Chuktu, our in-country focal point for Nigeria, reflects on the recent ODF declaration of Jigawa state:
“Nigeria has hit an important milestone by declaring Jigawa State the first state to achieve Open Defecation Free status. This is an estimated 6.6 million people now living in an Open Defecation Free (ODF) environment. Jigawa State, in the north west, was declared ODF by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources on 26 October 2022, after the ODF validation of Gwaram Local Government Authority – the last to be checked by the National Task Group on Sanitation.
This has significantly boosted Nigeria’s drive to become an ODF country by demonstrating that area-wide sanitation outcomes are possible.
Nigeria now has 92 open defecation free Local Government Areas. However, these positive gains need to be sustained and an incremental improvement in the sanitation status of the people needs to nurtured and encouraged. What are the key actions that can now be put in place to make the ODF status sustainable?
With the World Toilet Summit being hosted in Nigeria this week (November 19, 2022), how can this global event help push Nigeria further towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals? How can households, families and communities be resilient, and not only be declared ODF, but also sustain and improve on this newly found status?”