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Author Name: Suleiman Nasiru
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World toilet day: a world with more mobile phones than toilets
Author: Suleiman Nasiru | December 04, 2014

It has been confirmed that more people have access to mobile phones than those who have access to toilet. A United Nations research has confirmed that there are more people in the world that have access to mobile phones than toilets, saying out of the world's seven billion people, six billion have mobile phones. According to the UN findings, there are over 2.5 billion of people in both rural and urban settlements in the world without access to proper toilet facilities. This findings tend to be more true when you look at the Nigeria society, particularly in most of the so call big cities, where most people defecated in the public than they used the toilet. For instances most public schools in Kaduna for example lack good toilet facilities, a situation that has forced most of the students and pupils to defecate in the public. In fact a research finding in Kaduna indicated that one of the reasons most female students abandoned schools in the state is lack of good toilet facilities, which has served as a major discouragement for most of the girl-child in attending school. Though shortage of toilet facilities is not peculiar to Nigeria as indicated by the United Nations findings. In fact, this is more factual when the United Nations set aside November 19 of every year worldwide as international toilet day. During this year's celebration in Kaduna a founder of a foundation with the name Peace revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria, Pastor Yuhana Buru expressed dissatisfaction over increasing shortage of toilet in both rural and urban areas in the country. Buru said lack of enough public toilets can lead to many people contacting various diseases due to open defecation. The clergy said defecating openly is "extremely harmful" to public Health of the society. He pointed at UN report, which revealed that 4.5 billion have access to toilet or latrines. He said this is not enough, he suggested that the provision of proper toilet at market, car park garage, mosque and church, football field, school could save thousands of lives. According to him " countries where open defication is most widely practiced are the same countries where we have the highest numbers of child mortality, high level of under nutrition and poverty and large wealth disparities. Pastor Buru added that "Over one billion people defecate in an open place due to shortage of toilet facilities. As such he called on philanthropist, government at All level, NGOs and Health stakeholders to embark on sensitizing the public on the importance of hands washing after using toilet and for government to revisits the activities of Health public inspectors in the communities." Also speaking on this issue was one Mr. Sunday who said he resides in Down Quarter a suburb in the town who said most houses in the area neither have toilet facility or the toilet facility is bad. He said most people around that area usually preferred to use the 'bush'. The situation he said has made the area unhealthy and very dangerous for the inhabitants. On his part, Mr. Emmanuel Siman is a tailor who resides in Narayi area of Kaduna state, but operate a tailoring shop in Angwan Rimi said though open defecation is not very common in the part he resides in Narayi, but in Angwan Rimi where he operate his shop the public schools there have been turned into public toilets. Emmanuel said it is disheartening to found out that schools that are meant for learning is where some people choose to turn into toilets. He blamed footballers who played in most of the schools pitch to have given room for such practices. Residents in Angwan Kudu in Kaduna complained about this open defecation, some of the people who spoke to New Era said though most of the houses in the community have toilet, but the menace of open defecation in the area is cause by some of the few uncompleted buildings in the area. According to Mr. Paul Dauda a father of four who said this issue of open defecation in this area is not cause by lack or inadequate toilets here, but the availability of few uncompleted buildings we have around and some of these boys who come to smoke their helm and drink their local gins turned these building to public toilets. It could be observed that most cities in Nigeria have inadequate public toilets, a situation that is not too good for any city, where we have the toilet facilities some are very unkempt and not healthy for use. Some public health experts are of the opinion that though public toilets would help curb open defecation, but most public toilets in the cities are on their own agents of contacting diseases. They advocated use of disinfectant to keep the toilets clean and save the general public. While some tenants descended heavily on landlords who pay less attention to toilet facilities in their houses. They sought government intervention in this area. Many said house-to-house inspection by public health personnel be intensified.Equality, Dignity and the Link Between Gender-Based Violence and Sanitation” is the theme for this year's World Toilet Day, which seeks to put a spotlight on the threat of sexual violence that women and girls face due to the loss of privacy as well as the inequalities that are present in usability. According to the United Nations the large number of people without proper sanitation including toilets has a dramatic consequence on human health, dignity and security, the environment, and social and economic development. They said toilets generally remain inadequate for populations with special needs, such as the disabled and elderly, and women and girls requiring facilities to manage menstrual hygiene. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, on behalf of the Secretary‐General, launched a campaign earlier this year to break the silence on open defecation and spur dialogue as part of the UN Call to Action on Sanitation. The “Sanitation for All' Resolution was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2013, designating 19 November as World Toilet Day.

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