The Center for Environmental Sustainability and Awareness for Development (CESDA) has called for synergy among stakeholders to curb the problem of open defecation and inappropriate forms of waste disposal in the country.
Mr. Olusola Babalola, Executive Director of CESDA, who called for synergy among stakeholders, expressed concern about the negative effects of open defecation on society and also listed five places where people openly defecate in the Territory of the Federal Capital (FCT), Abuja.
Babalola made the call during the “Say No Campaign Against Open Defecation” lunch at Jabi Park, Abuja.
The areas listed in Abuja as places where people openly defecate by CESDA include; Jabi park, Wuse market, Utako market and utako park, Zone three, Gwarinpa to Kubwa and Zuba express way.
Babalola said the reason the center came to Jabi Park was because the threat of open defecation in Nigeria has been increasing.
“Several places have been flagged as notorious for this practice, especially in Abuja, which is the Federal Capital Territory of the nation.
“Therefore, we must act quickly to stop the wave of open defecation and indiscriminate waste disposal in Abuja.
“This prompted us to carry out a study, in the course of it we were able to map the places that are notorious for open defecation.”
Babalola said the center engaged stakeholders and the public with the study’s findings and recommendations.
He said that having identified Jabi Park as one of the places for open defecation, the center decided to quickly begin its campaign titled Say no to open defecation in Nigeria.
He said the center was embarking on a mass sensitization of motorists and pedestrians to curb the threat.
Babalola said the center did a cleanup to lead by example and would make sure the act continued.
He added that the center would work with members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the park.
He said that more than 20 of them would be trained as Defense Technical Team (ATT) park marshals after clearing the park to ensure that people stopped indiscriminate waste disposal and open defecation.
Babalola said the center was working with key stakeholders to see how to carry out the campaign.
He said that Jabi Park was a pilot program that would spread to other parts of Abuja and to the nation at large because
Open defecation poses a great danger to public health.
Mr. Onyekachi Awalite, Head of Programs, CESDA, said that one of the effects of indiscriminate waste disposal, in addition to its effect on health, is that it causes flooding.
Awalite said that was the reason why the Jabi park area always flooded during the rainy seasons.
He said that defecation in the open air also caused some health effects such as respiratory diseases, skin diseases, cholera among others.
Mr. Lawrence Fadipe, Organizing Secretary, NURTW, FCT chapter, praised the centre’s initiative to curb open defecation and indiscriminate waste disposal.
Fadipe said that the union would collaborate with the center to stop open defecation and would also give the information to other chapters, especially at the national level.
Thus, he said that it was so that all members were aware that the condition of the park would now be better for everyone.
Giwa Muhammed, a member of NURTW, said that people who desecrate the park often do so at night.
Mohammed said that from now on, members of NURTW would monitor the park to stop the act.