The federal government has lamented loss of N455 billion annually to poor sanitation saying it is equivalent to 1.3 per cent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Rabi Jimeta disclosed this Monday at a national stakeholders’ consultative workshop on draft hygiene promotion strategy and implementation guidelines for Nigeria in Abuja.
She said that sanitation and hygiene practices are key to achieving safe water service delivery.
“A knowledge, attitude and practice survey conducted by UNICEF revealed that while there was 97 per cent knowledge on hygiene, actual practice was less than 50 per cent.
“This has resulted in an annual loss of N455 billion. Each person practicing open defecation spends almost 2.5 days a year finding a private location to defecate leading to economic loss of $243 million in access time, and $191 million is spent on healthcare treating diarrhoea and malnutrition,” she explained.READ ALSO – Impact of open waste dumps on rental value
Jemita who was represented by the director of Water, Quality Control and Sanitation at the ministry, Samuel Ome said the implementation of the strategy as adopted will mark the process of actualising sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene for all Nigerians.
“Efforts to address the issue led to the engagement of an international consultant by UNICEF to provide technical support in developing a national hygiene promotion strategy,” she said.