The Senate has directed the Federal Government through its relevant agencies to Increase the construction of public toilets throughout the 36 states of the federation.
The red chamber said the facilities should be provided in states where open defecation is more prevalent.
The red chamber also urged the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources, Health and other related agencies to increase awareness and sensitisation on the dangers of open defecation.
The Senate took the decision after a debate on a motion by Senator Clifford Ordia on the “World Toilet Day”, an annual global event.
Ordia emphasises the importance of expanding sanitation access to the more than 4.2 billion people living without safely managed sanitation options.
He said toilets save lives because human wastes spreads killer diseases.
He added that the World Toilet Day about inspiring action to combat the global sanitation crisis.
He said that open defection poses serious economic, social, health hazards effect on the people, community and the environment.
He said, “An expert in water, sanitation and hygiene who works with the United Nations Children Fund, Mr. Bioye Ogunjobi, said Nigeria loses about 1.3 per cent of its GDP amounting to N455bn annually due to poor sanitation.
“A third of that cost is as a result of the practice of open defecation.”
He expressed concern that besides the exposure to diseases, there was a lack of dignity that is inherent in open defecation practices, particularly with regard to women and girls.
He said, “If effective solutions are not found, the non-availability of sanitation facilities inadvertently further exposes women and girls to violence including rape, when they are forced to go out at night to defecate in the open.”
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