Ekiti State Government has partnered the United Nations Children Endowment Fund (UNICEF) in a bid to end open defecation.
Commissioner for Public Utilities and Infrastructure Bamidele Faparusi, in an interview with reporters in Ado-Ekiti, said the memorandum of understanding with UNICEF was reached following report that Ekiti was the second in open defecation practice in the country.
Faparusi stated that UNICEF had used Ekiti West and Gboyin local governments for the pilot scheme and that the two councils are almost zero free with the provision of low cost toilet facilities at every household.
The commissioner said the state government will soon begin construction of public toilets across the 16 local government areas.
He said the state Rural Water Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) has done a baseline studies that will help the government in kick-starting the programme.
“We are working on the data provided by RUWASA and we shall work on it to be able to know the number of facilities to provide. Open defecation is dangerous to our hygiene and health. So, we need to fight it headlong.
“It is an age-long practice; it cannot stop in a day. We are also planning a sewage processing facilities in Ado-Ekiti metropolis that will enhance sanitation. We have a special roadmap to tackle these problems.”
Faparusi stated that Governor Kayode Fayemi has begun heavy investment on Ero and Egbe Dams, with massive reticulation exercise in about nine local governments to help the open defecation free scheme.
“Ekiti will key into the idea of toilet facilities if provided, because of large number of educated people in our state. Construction of mobile toilets are in the pipeline, but all can’t be provided in a day. There will be mobile toilets for events. Our policy will address all these.”
He added that the government has ordered the Benin Distribution Company (BEDC) to ensure that all the residential and commercial buildings in the state are metered for accurate billing.
This, Faparusi said, is inevitable in the state following exorbitant charges the BEDC’s estimated billing has brought.
He noted that all the landlords will be sensitized to key into water supply scheme of government, saying water from treated dams are more hygienic than well and other sources.