Tag Archives: Nigeria

The Consequences of Deteriorating Sanitation in Nigeria

The Consequences of Deteriorating Sanitation in Nigeria | Source: Council on Foreign Relations Blog, July 23, 2015 |

This is a guest post by Anna Bezruki, an intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Global Health Program. She studies biology at Bryn Mawr College.

According to the final report on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) released earlier this month, more than a third of the world population (2.4 billion) is still without improved sanitation.

Children play at a slum in Ijegun Egba, a suburb of Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, July 2, 2008. (Courtesy Reuters/George Esiri)

Children play at a slum in Ijegun Egba, a suburb of Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos, July 2, 2008. (Courtesy Reuters/George Esiri)

The target to halve the global population without adequate toilets by 2015 has not been reached. Consequently, sanitation has been pushed on to the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Although India is perhaps the most widely cited failure, accounting for roughly half of open defecation worldwide, it is at least making progress toward the SDG target. The same cannot be said for Nigeria. Lacking the political infrastructure to reform sanitation and faced with security and political concerns that overshadow development goals, Nigeria is struggling to reverse the trend.

Unlike in India, where the percentage of people with access to a toilet shared by only one family increased by eighteen points between 1990 and 2012, that percentage declined in Nigeria from 37 to 28 percent.

This incongruity is best illustrated by the fact that there are more than three times as many cell phones in Nigeria as people who have access to adequate toilets. This means thirty-nine million defecate outside, sixteen million more today than in 1990.

Poor sanitation contributes to diarrheal diseases and malnutrition through fecal contamination of food and water. One gram of feces can contain one hundred parasite eggs, one million bacteria, and ten million viruses.

Diarrheal diseases kill approximately 121,800 Nigerians, including 87,100 children under the age of five each year. Eighty-eight percent of those deaths are attributed to poor sanitation. Poor sanitation is thought to strain the immune system to the point that permanent stunting and other manifestations of malnutrition can result.

More than 40 percent of Nigerian children under the age of five are stunted, and malnutrition is the underlying cause of death in more than 50 percent of the approximately 804,000 deaths annually in the same age range.

The impact of inadequate toilets goes beyond hazardous exposure to feces. A survey conducted by WaterAid, a nonprofit organization focusing on providing safe water and sanitation access, in a Lagos slum revealed that the 69 percent of women and girls without access to toilets are at higher risk of verbal and physical harassment when they relieve themselves.

The effects of poor sanitation are also costing Nigeria economically. The Nigerian Water and Sanitation Program estimates that poor sanitation costs the country at least three billion U.S. dollars each year in lost productivity and health care expenditures.

While estimates vary, in 2011, Nigeria invested approximately $550 million, less than 0.1 percent of GDP, on sanitation, a number which has likely decreased since then. This is less than a quarter of the approximately $2.3 billion annually that would have been necessary to meet the MDG target.

It will take more than money and infrastructure to fix Nigeria’s sanitation. Even if investments were to sufficiently rise, the lack of a single government entity with complete responsibility for sanitation within the government, as well as widespread corruption and a lack of community support, would likely hamper efforts.

Providing latrines without first creating demand within the community has failed repeatedly, including in India, where latrines have been repurposed for extra storage. There are also other problems, like a treasury emptied by corruption and the war on Boko Haram, that top President Buhari’s agenda.

While these are immediate threats that require intense focus, sanitation is an essential long-term investment that will help Nigeria grow.  

‘Nigeria loses N455bn yearly to poor sanitation’

November 22, 2011 – UNITED Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) chief, water, sanitation, and hygiene section, Mr Vinod Alkari, has revealed that, Nigeria loses N455 billion annually or 1.3 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to poor sanitation.

Similarly, he added that, 33 million people defecate in the open while only a third of the country’s population have access to improved sanitation, with high morbidity and mortality as direct consequences.

UNICEF chief, Alkari, stated this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the third national roundtable conference on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Nigeria, held in Katsina State.

Alkari, represented by Mr Bisi Agberemi, explained that, due to sanitation related diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid, 728 deaths were recorded from January to November, this year in 197 local government areas in 25 states in the country.

According to him, improving the disposal of human excreta and stopping open defecation can drastically reduce the disease burden caused by sanitation related diseases and contribute to economic transformation of the country.

The UNICEF chief, who expressed his organisation’s commitment to sanitation development, said “UNICEF will continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to implement other high impact and cost effective interventions to reduce sanitation related diseases.”

He, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Katsina State government and the National Task Group on Sanitation for organising the conference and hoped that, participants would make positive contributions to achieve the set targets for sanitation in the country.

Source-Nigerian Tribune

The Toilet Named Nigeria

Okey Ndibe. Photo: Trinity CollegeIn his latest column, government critic and Professor of Creative Writing at Trinity College (USA) Okey Ndibe, voices his disgust at the practice of open defecation in his homeland Nigeria.

If you want to gauge how badly Nigerians have been animalized, then pay attention to how, and where, many of them defecate. Just recently, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that 33 million Nigerians have no access to decent toilets. As a consequence, said the report, these citizens of Africa’s most populous nation answer the call of nature in the open.

Is it really only 33 million Nigerians? One is afraid that here’s one occasion when statisticians have pegged the figure too low. Nigeria – as I wrote three years ago – may be described as one vast toilet. Anybody who has traveled from Lagos to Onitsha by road knows that there isn’t one single rest area with toilet facilities along the route. At stops in Ore or Benin City, pressed passengers must hurry off into the brushes, gingerly skating around others’ feces, in order to relieve themselves.

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Unilever Nigeria presents reformulated Lifebuoy

April 13, 2011 – It was an experience like no other in Lagos recently when Unilever Nigeria Plc, a leading player in the Fast Moving Consumer Good (FCMG) industry launched its new advanced Lifebuoy health soap into the market amidst fanfare.

In his remarks during the consumer launch, the Managing Director Mr. Thabo Mabe, said that the decision to launch Lifebuoy into the Nigerian market was the company’s desire to offer consumers world-class health protection and to help reduce the child mortality rate caused by germs and diseases.

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Just building a million latrines won’t solve Africa’s sanitation crisis

Empowering local communities to solve their own problems is the best way to improve health across the continent

The deadline for the world to meet its millennium development goals is now only four years away, yet in sub-Saharan Africa, there are still 570 million people without adequate sanitation, and it will be another 200 years before just half of the population of this region have access to a safe, private toilet.

In Nigeria where I live – alongside one-fifth of the continent’s population – sanitation coverage stands at just 32%.

And while we wait for the pundits, politicians and policymakers to do something about this, our children die at the rate of 4,000 a day. That’s the equivalent of one child dying in the time it takes to read this paragraph.

I have seen many technologies designed to solve our problems parachuted into Nigeria. Some work, most don’t. I am continually amazed at the products thrust at us and the astonishment that then follows when something that we have had no consultation on fails to work in our local context. The lesson should be simple: know the area, know the people.

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Nigeria: From Waste to Wealth

INITIALLY when many of them ventured into the job, they did it with all enthusiasm believing they had gotten a means of livelihood. Somehow midway, they became agents for armed robbers. And for many years, their actions have ruined families.

The story is simple.

As cart pushers, local name for refuse collectors, moved from house to house collecting disused items, they became familiar with their customers, their movements and their surroundings. With these, they sold information to underworld, whose members in turn targeted homes, attacked the residents and stole anything they could.

Anybody who refused to cooperate was either maimed or killed.

But these situations changed in 2008 with the organised private investors fully incorporated into solid waste collection through PSP by the Lagos State Government.

With this, ‘cart pushing’ business becomes illegal and patronising pushers is at patrons’ risk across the state.

Two years on, that single policy designs to complement the efforts of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), an agency in charge of solid waste management in the state, is today having a positive impact on peoples’ daily lives.

Now, 400 private firms are so far licensed by the government with about 15, 000 people gainfully engaged under the scheme. Nine thousands (9,000) of these were until recently unemployed. The rest used to be cart pushers.

They include truck drivers and their assistants, supervisors, office/account clerks, waste loaders and highway sweepers.

Each worker is paid a monthly salary ranging from N10, 000 to N40, 000 depending on the company and the type of duties.

Mr. Adelakun Joel, 28, is one of those enjoying his new work.

A supervisor with one of the firms, which he prefers not to be named, Adelakun says he lived at the mercy of good spirited people before joining his current place of work.

Though Adelakun’s income just as his colleagues is meagre, he is keeping part of it aside to enable him sponsor his part time studies in the university in the near future.

Similarly, Mama Rukayat as she prefers to be addressed is among the sweepers along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway at Abule-Egba area of Lagos.

She gets to work as early as 6.00am and sweeps alongside her colleagues an allocated portion in an interval of three hours and then closes for the day latest by 3.00pm.

The mother of two says the little income she earns enables her contributes to family’s welfare.

And as far as I know, she says in Yoruba, every other colleague does likewise.

From another angle, scavengers, who comb landfill sites to pick such items as metal, plastics, bottles, nylon, and papers, are now making more money.

The scheme, has enabled them to get large volume of needed items at one location, which they sell to middlemen, who in turn sell to traders and recycling factories.

This reporter observes at both Abule-Egba and Olusosun-Ojota landfill sites in Alimosho and Ikeja local government areas, respectively, the presence of many scavengers in possession of bags where they stored these items according to their kinds.

Read more – http://allafrica.com/stories/201005110833.html

Nigeria: stakeholders call for adoption of CLTS

There are new calls for the adoption of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach by all the 36 States and the FCT [Federal Capital Territory] for the promotion of sanitation and attainment of the MDG target for Sanitation in Nigeria.

A recent workshop [called for] the establishment of a CLTS Technical Advisory Committee drawn from the National Task Group on Sanitation, States and LGAs [Local Government Areas] for further development of the approach to respond to the peculiar challenges of Nigeria. The communiqué said that strengthening the capacities of WASHCOM [Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees] and natural leaders identified to support their communities to ODF (Open Defecation Free) status and also facilitate CLTS in neighboring communities has the potential of supporting the scaling up of CLTS in Nigeria.

The communiqué further said that there must be harmonized monitoring tools for CLTS at all levels to enhance information and experience sharing, adoption of the Draft Guidelines for Certification of Open Defecation Free (ODF) and Total Sanitation Community by all states and the FCT as minimum benchmark for the Certification process of Communities, ensuring the involvement of all relevant stakeholders like Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and NYSC [National Youth Service Corps] in the implementation of CLTS in Nigeria; as demonstrated in Osun State where the involvement of the NYSC assisted in successfully scaling up CLTS in the State as well as accentuate evidence-based advocacy at all levels of Government for political will and support.

Lastly, the communiqué said that UNICEF must intensify liaison with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDG Office) to advocate for MDG funds for scaling up CLTS in Nigeria as well as develop capacity building of the National Water Resource Institute to organize regular and customized short courses on CLTS towards building a critical mass of practitioners for scaling up CLTS in the country.

Read more about CLTS in Nigeria

Source: Benjamin Auta, Daily Trust / allAfrica.com, 30 Dec 2009

30 December 2009