By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – An Environmentalist and Founder of Teku Int’l Farm, Ibrahim Salisu, has constructed bamboo stem toilet with bathroom facilities to tackle open defacation in Kaduna State.
Even as he said bamboo stem toilet facility is cheap and could equally adapt to all ecological challenges.
According to him, the practice of open defecation brings with it significant health risks, linked to deaths from diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid and other diseases and infections.
He added that open defecation also posed health risks to women and girls especially those resident in rented houses were there are no toilet facilities, and may need to leave home in the dark to find somewhere to defecate.
The Environmentalist urged the citizens to construct bamboo stem toilet facilities in their rental property to reduce environmental diseases and air infections.
While noting that millions of Nigerians still practice open defecatation; the environmentalist said, efforts have been made over the years to reduce the practice in Nigeria but failed due to lack of commitments by citizens, especially some landlords.
Ibrahim further informed that he has commenced training for some young bricklayers, laborers and construction engineers on the project to help tackle the menace among citizens living in rented houses without toilet facilities.
“Its really unfortunate that most landlords even in the cities build houses and rooms without enough toilet facilities for tenants.
“Most landlords are after making money from the numbers of rooms without creating enough toilet and bathroom facilities, thereby risking health conditions of their tenants.
“There is an increase in the spread of infectious diseases due to scarcity of toilet faculities in most rental property in the state,” he said.
In his contributions, Assistant Director of African Climate Reporters, Dr. Piman Hoffman, said there were many factors that contributes to open defecation in Nigeria and some other African countries such as high population density, lack of toilet facilities, poverty, and the beliefs that open defecation is normal and healthy, and that building a lavatory in the house would be unhygienic.
He said there is need to tackle the menace in order to save women, children and elderly ones against the spread of infectious diseases.
According to Hoffman, open defecation affects nations’ overall economic performance by causing: diseases and deaths, loss of productivity due to illnesses, costs for accessing and treating drinking water, loses in education, and time spent accessing sites for open defecation.
One in four Nigerians, about 47 million people still practice open defecation according to the World Health Organization report.