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UNICEF calls for more toilets, good hygiene practice in North East

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From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has canvassed for provision of more toilets in public places especially schools in the North East and good hygiene in homes.

The global body in a message to commemorate the World Toilet Day 2023 urged the people in the region to desist from open defecation practice to prevent disease outbreak.

UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Manager, Mamita Thakkar, said fewer students have access to water and soap when they use toilets in their schools Borno State

“Only 20 percent of students have access to water and soap in their schools to wash their hands,” she disclosed at a press briefing weekend in Maiduguri.

She said only three of the 27 local governments in Borno is free from open defecation, adding that UNICEF is working hard with the state government and other partners to improve the sanitary and hygiene situation in the state.

She however said they are “heavily behind” their target in ensuring school hygiene target. She said the focus was to make a generational change about good hygiene practice for the young age

He attributed lack of access to toilet facilities, water and poor attitude on hygiene as some of the factors responsible for open defecation.

Director of Sanitation, Borno Rural Water Supply Agency (RUWASA), Tijjani Babagana said Borno has adopted a community Health Sanitation system which allow the state to trigger the community to build their toilets and be free from Open Defecation by 2025.

The World Toilet Day is an annual event declared by the UN for November 19 to underscore hygiene, right to water and good sanitation.

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