The Executive Director of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency RUWASSA, Dr. Mohammed Ali Dan-Hassan has warned that adherence to open defecation policy is not negotiable.
Speaking to journalists in his office yesterday, the Director said those still engaging in open defecation were advised and warned to desist from such acts, otherwise the sanitation bylaws and sanctions would be applied appropriately.
He said the Agency will implement and enforce stringent penalties for open defecation to deter individuals from engaging in such unhygienic practices.
He further explained that the FCT Administration has been investing in the development of proper sewage management systems and waste disposal infrastructure to ensure efficient disposal of human waste.
The Director, therefore assured that the Agency would ensure upgrades in the household sanitation ladder, especially in rural communities and expand public convenience facilities to accommodate the growing population, in line with the FCT Infrastructural development plan.
He said the government has made provisions for public toilets in strategic locations in various parts of the city, satellite towns and rural communities.
Dan-Hassan said open defecation poses significant health and environmental risks.
Accordingly, he said addressing the issue was paramount for the well being of communities in FCT. The current commitment is to make at least three out of the six Area Councils Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the year 2024. Presently, there are 117 out of 774 Local Government Areas that have been certified and declared ODF in Nigeria.
The RUWASSA boss said the well maintained public toilets in strategic locations across the FCT are to ensure convenient access to the residents.
“We need to encourage residents to take ownership of their health and personal hygiene and work collectively to maintain cleanliness.” Together, a Clean FCT is possible, he added.