Governments at Federal, State and Local Government Levels Encourage Open Defecation

Governments at Federal, State and Local Government Levels Encourage Open Defecation.

The report below can be used as a template for government secondary schools, police barracks, army barracks and even Nigerian institutions of higher learning, the premier university, University of Ibadan included.

The population of our higher institutions has ballooned and for example the University of Ibadan (UI) which was under 4,000 in 1967 is now in the tens of thousands. Facilities for the institution have not grown at the same pace. In 1987/88 session in one female hostel at UI more than 5-6 students share one room which was meant for 2. One can imagine the kind of pressure put on the physical facilities.  Something similar has been happening in all government secondary schools as well as armed forces training colleges.At government secondary schools, at times flush toilets were provided in the eighties without adequate water supply. How do I know? My daughters attended one of them in the southwest.

In the words of late Tai Solarin there is hardly any inch of Nigerian soil that have not been p.. on. There is paucity of public toilets in urban centers. Candidly there are no public toilets in the major urban centers. Because of this “okada” drivers would park their motor bikes and do it wherever they feel the call of nature and wherever they can avoid public stare.

In conclusion, the monster of open defecation will refuse to leave us because of the following:

  • Government lack of focus and foresight.
  • Govt. attitude concerning planning as well as coordination.
  • Govt. approach at solving problems – fire-fighting approach.
  • Students’ attitude resulting from poor background in sanitation – lack of awareness about the dangers of open defecation during their formative years.

Our governments need to divert funds from street sweeping and other window dressing efforts, for example, to providing more public toilets in strategic points in urban centers. An activist of the progressive southwest mold told me that a government that sweeps streets without filling potholes has lost focus.

DEPO ADENLE.

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

At Kaduna Police College, recruits defecate in bush

by Ismail Mudashir, Daily Trust , Friday, 25 January 2013

Recruit constables who passed out from the Police College, Kaduna recently, are unhappy with the deplorable condition of the premier police training institution in the country.

Established in1949, the Kaduna Police College is presently serving eight police commands in the country namely: Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Plateau and the FCT. The college graduated over 4,484 recruits three weeks ago.

Daily Trust gathered that during the training that lasted for 15 months, the facilities at the college were over stretched. Over 200 recruits slept in a dormitory, and the same number shared five toilets.

As a result of the shortage of accommoda-tion, many of the recruits slept in the dining hall and classrooms. But those who were ‘connected’ secured accommodation in the college’s barrack.

A cross section of the recruits who are now serving in different police commands recounted their experiences at the college, and they were particular about the condition of their toilets.

One of them who spoke to our reporter said: “We thank God that we passed out without recording any outbreak of toilet related diseases because over 200 recruits shared five toilets in my dormitory. Some of us defecated in the bush because we were told it was safer.”

Another one said throughout the 15 months they were at the college, he did not eat food that was served by the police authority. He said because of the low standard of the meal, recruits labelled it as ‘Gapza’.

“I did not eat the meals they were serving us because in the morning they served us with watery beans as breakfast. In the afternoon and at nights, they interchanged ‘tuwo’ and ‘eba’ daily. That is what we were served with throughout the period of our training. I used to eat from commandant market,” another constable who passed out said.

When our correspondent entered the premises yesterday, recruits and college officials were seen carrying out sanitation exercise. Most of the dormitories were deserted; only about 100 recruits were on ground. The dirtiest place in the college is the laundry quarters, an instructor said.

“I cannot take you there but from afar you can perceive the pungent odour oozing from the gutter,” he added. According to him, the recruits seen at the college were made to repeat because they failed their final examination.

“These recruits are part of those that recently passed out. They failed their exam, that’s why they were held back,” he said. A junior police officer who spoke to Daily Trust said: “We embarked on this sanitation because of the unscheduled visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Lagos Police College. We here do not want to be caught unaware, hence the sanitation.”

All efforts to speak with the authorities of the college was not successful. The spokesman, ASP Mohammed Sani, did not pick several calls put across to his handset. Also attempt by the correspondent to see the acting commandant of the college was unsuccessful as security men at the entrance said journalists were barred from entering the college. But speaking during the passing out cere-mony of the recruits, acting commandant of the college raised alarm over shortage of accommodation.

“In the course of the training, the college experienced shortage of accommodation for recruits in view of the limited capacity of available structures compared to the large number of recruits. Our officers and men also experience accommodation shortage due to the effect of the Federal Government privatisation policy,” he said. To this effect, the acting commandant appealed to state governments to assist the college by building dormitories for recruits, residential accommodation for staffs, road network in the college and providing teaching aids.

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3 responses to “Governments at Federal, State and Local Government Levels Encourage Open Defecation

  1. Aluko Olufemi O.

    The issue of open defecation in Nigerian public institutions has grown and is growing in dimension daily even though many communities have been and are being triggered to stop open defecartion through “Community Led Total Sanitation” strategy by government agencies, assisted by donors virtually in every State in Nigeria, Including Lagos.

    In the State of Osun, I remember vividly that a community inn Ayedaade LGA in a bid to become totally sanitised provided toilets in the PHC located within their community, a good omen you would say.
    The issue is this; can we promote CLTS in public institutions???? No, not even now when there are global outcry on CLTS promotion strategies that infringe on human rights of community residents to choose their preferences without coercion and force by laws instituted by the community to force them to provide, own and use toilets. (This is still under tense discussions).
    Therefore, there is the need for government at all levels to invest in sanitation, specifically provision of d safe toilets in public institutions as a matter of duty. I wonder what our leaders practice when they travel outside this country and can innovate or replicate such ideas in the country, state, LGA where they govern.
    Do we say another food for thought?????

    • Dear Femi,
      Thanks for your comments and for noting that open defecation in public institutions is becoming an intractable problem. This is a self-inflicted wound due to planning and refusing to abide by the goals set during planning stage. Institutions that are planned to admit 1,000 students are turned into ones admitting 3 times the planned figure without any attempt to compensate for the increased population through an increase the physical facilities such as those for sanitation.
      Contrary to your answer as to whether CLTS can be promoted in public institutions I believe it can and should. All that needs to be done is ensure that sanitation facilities are increased in proportion to any increase in student intake even if accommodation expansion cannot be immediately achieved.
      As regards your call for more investment by various levels of government in sanitation I am in agreement with you. Furthermore, how about lawmakers devoting most of their constituency allowance to sanitation projects?
      Regards,
      DEPO.

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