Water sanitation and open defecation is a violation of human rights recognised all over, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Zaid Jurji has said.
Jurji who made this known at a two-day media dialogue on Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Project, Phase 3 in Jos, Plateau State said, everyone needs to make sure this human right is met adding that people must ask of it because it is their right and they ought to be given.
"There is a lot happening in Nigeria and we are asking that it becomes one of our priority areas that more resources are allocated by the authorities while the communities keep asking for their rights, and when it is available they make sure it is working and it is sustained so that they can keep benefitting from the services,” he said.
He said Nigeria may not be able to meet target in the area of water sanitation and hygiene by the 2030 deadline for sustainable development goals, because it is not doing the right thing and putting in the required skill.
"Without making sure that this become a priority area to invest in, making it recognised and making available resources, making every possible channel to reach every direction we cannot reach the goal and issues of sanitation will continue to be a big challenge,” he said.
Jurji added that when the government of Nigeria decided to eradicate polio every effort was put into it and it was successful. "We should make this national priority so that it can be dealt with."
He also said 25 percent of Nigerians still practice open defecation while advocating that government’s at all level should make available their counterpart funding to provide access to good water supply in the rural areas and also encourage hand wash for good hygiene.
A developmental communication consultant, Dr Adedayo Ogundimu in his presentation said, for Nigeria to achieve her target, projects sustainability must be a priority.