World Bulletin / News Desk
Billions of people do not have access to adequate sanitation and more than one billion practice open defecation resulting in thousands of deaths from preventable diseases every year, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon launching initiative to raise awareness of lack of sanitation for "one-third of the human family".
"When schools offer decent toilets, more girls pursue their education. When women have access to a private latrine, they are less vulnerable to assault." Ban said.
Speaking on the occasion of "Wold Toilet Day", UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said "We must break the taboos and make sanitation a global development priority for all.”
He added that UN will soon launch a campaign that aims to end open defecation by 2025.
He added that "By working together and educating people about the importance of toilets and sanitation, we can improve the health and well-being of one-third of the human family. That is the goal of World Toilet Day.”
Each year, more than 800.000 children under five die from diarrhea, many due to poor sanitation, according to the UN.
In 2001, U.N. General Assembly declared November 19 as World Toilet Day, after the proposal from Singapore, where sanitation is a major problem.
100 MILLION NIGERIANS LACK TOILETS
The UNICEF estimates that nearly two thirds of Nigerian's population lack access to toilets, blaming that for a surge in diseases in Africa's most populous country.
"Nigeria has about 100 million people without access to toilets," UNICEF Chief Sanitary, Water and Hygiene Officer Kannan Nadar told an event marking the World Toilets Day in Abuja, Nigeria's political capital.
"This is worrisome as it is possible for everyone to own a toilet. It doesn't cost much," Kannan said.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondent, in most parts of Nigeria, people defecate in open grounds and on mountaintops, especially in campuses of higher institutions where most of the buildings student inhabit lack toilets.
"This situation is very critical," Nadar stressed. "Sanitation and toilets are fundamental human rights."
Since it is possible for everyone to own a toilet, it is not justified for people to die of diseases related to infections due to open defecation," insisted the UNICEF official.
Nigeria health officials noted that roughly 2,771 cases of cholera epidemics were reported this year with 124 deaths so far, an alarming situation experts blame on poor sanitary conditions in the country.
Nigeria has an estimated population of nearly 174.5 million.Last Mod: 19 Kasım 2013, 12:12