Once again Nigeria is listed in the black book of the under-developed countries with millions of urban and rural dwellers using unsafe and unsanitized toilet and living in sordid environment.
According to a latest report on State of the World Toilets for 2016 by WaterAid – a renowned international organization that focuses on improving access to safe water and sanitation in towns and villages, it has become an extraordinary problem since 13.5 million people living in Nigeria’s towns and cities have no choice but to defecate in the open, along roadsides, railway tracks and even in plastic bags dubbed ‘flying toilets.’
The country also ranks top among countries falling furthest behind in reaching people with urban sanitation. Statistics had shown that for every urban dweller reached with sanitation since 2000, two were added to the number living without, an increase of 31 million people in the last 15 years.
A Representative of WaterAid, Dr. Micheal Ojo, gave a statement where he acknowledged that adequate sanitation could create jobs and prosperity directly and indirectly, adding that there’s a potential market of more than $2.6 billion in sanitation.
According Ojo, by increasing access to sanitation through stimulating needs via sanitation marketing and responding to existing unmet needs, untapped business opportunities would open up.
“WaterAid’s State of the World Toilet 2016 report also focuses on some of the jobs that are created when the challenge is addressed head-on.”
The report suggested that Nigeria can grow her economy and improve the lives of citizens if an investment in improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene is given paramount consideration.
Meanwhile, India ranked top with the greatest number of Urban dwellers living without safe private toilet with escalated the number of persons in this category at 157 million. The Asian country is also known as world’s leader in having the most urban dwellers who practice open defecation.
Another Africa country listed as the worse country in the world for urban sanitation by percentage is South Sudan. WaterAid report noted that 84% of urban dwellers in the war-ravaged country, had no access to a toilet and every other urban-resident practice open defecation.