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UNICEF, North-East build 4,752 toilets, rehabilitate 2,976 others

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THE United Nations Children’s Fund in collaboration with state governments in the troubled North-East has constructed 4,752 toilets on internally displaced persons’ camps and communities.

The United Nations agency has also rehabilitated 2,976 toilets in the region to check open defecation and improve the hygiene of the area.

Speaking at a Media Orientation Programme to commemorate the 2021 World Toilet Day in Maiduguri, the Chief of Maiduguri Field Office of UNICEF, Dr Clement Adams said from 2018 to date, UNICEF had supported state governments under its humanitarian intervention in the North-East with the construction of 4,752 toilets and rehabilitation 2,976 others for Internally Displaced Persons and communities.

He said, “About 200 sites have been supported with hand pump boreholes while 126,690 non-food items have been distributed to displaced and vulnerable families.”

He equally said UNICEF had built capacities of state departments and LGAs to deliver safe and sustainable WASH services to communities and IDPs.

He said UNICEF had also supported Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to undertake rapid response to cholera outbreaks.

Adams explained, “At a time when the Federal Government has made a call to make the country open defecation free through the nationwide Clean Nigeria Campaign, it’s important that all states adopt this in a mission mode, to become open defecation free by 2025.

“Practical steps towards ending open defecation by constructing more toilets and water sources, especially among the most vulnerable population whether in camps or host communities need to be pursued schools, markets and other public places must not be left out even as we promote behavioural change among the people.”

He added that national and state budgets must reflect the importance of toilets and water sources to the health of children and workforce.

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