The need for clean water in Nigeria is widely understood but the importance of appropriate sanitation is not yet recognized. In many areas, access to simple toilets facilities seems impossible.
In most cases, adequate sanitation remains the responsibility of individual households to provide safe and healthy toilet system. Sanitation covers broad range of environmental problems including hygiene, drainage, solid waste and excreta disposal. This study focuses on excreta disposal.
Lack of access to good toilet facilities and poor hygiene conditions results in diarrhoea, which is the 2nd largest cause of childhood mortality in Nigeria.
The minimum standard for household excreta disposal in Nigeria is a hygienic and safe facility. But nationally, estimates show that less than half Nigerian populations have access to good toilets system.
Due to the growing urban population, some urban areas like Lagos, Abuja and Kano Nigeria experiences lack of adequate and acceptable technologies such as: VIP toilets, sanplat latrines and traditional pit latrines. As such, many people defecate along the nearby bushes, uncompleted buildings and rivers.
Lack of access to good toilet facilities and poor hygiene conditions results in diarrhoea, which is the 2nd largest cause of childhood mortality in Nigeria. Also, lack of access to safe and private toilet facilities in schools affects the performance of students. The benefit of adequate toilet system far outweighs the amount of money used. It is estimated that about 10 million productive days would be achieved if access to good sanitation, toilet system and water rose to 100 %.
Access to adequate toilet and general sanitation system varies in Nigeria, with estimates ranging from 15% to 80% in some areas. Institutional sanitation rates are also very poor, especially in primary schools. There is only one toilet for about 500 students in schools. Due to these problems, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for sanitation are to halve the problems, the estimated population without access to suitable sanitation. This means about 70 % of people must have access to good sanitation by 2015. Presently, the country did not meet the MDG’s target.
Toilet is very important in everyday live especially in institutions. If there is no suitable toilet, people will be unhealthy and the surroundings will be dirty. This is because without clean and adequate toilet system, people will defecate in the bush or open environment and this directly pollutes the river, underground water and other easily contaminated foods. Awareness and implementation of ecological sanitation toilets system should be carried out for improved household and institutional sanitation Nigerian institutions.
Odey , Emmanuel Alepu is presently a PhD candidate,School of energy and environment. University of Science and Technology Beijing P.R China.
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