Open defecation in Abuja: Epidemic waiting to happen


Open defecation in Abuja: Epidemic waiting to happen

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Open defecation is fast becoming a modern day life for most residents of Nyanya, Maraba, Gpeyegi, Kurudu, Apanpe Dei-Dei , Karimu and other adjourning towns like Kubwa, Dutse Alhaji, Apo village and Mabushi.

This Nation’s Capital which is a home to most migrant workers without shelters, is embroid in the web of contradictions at night after daily hustle during the day by inhabitants of the area.

Pedestrians, traders, commuters face health risk daily due to a possible outbreak of epidemic in the locality. First time visitors to the adjourning Centre have good reason to be cautious of open gutters that log majority of waste in the premier Area council that house the seat of power.

Dumps for open defecation practice.

Activities of scavengers and destitute have put the people in the City under greater pressure arising from the inability of the appropriate authorities are yet to hazard a clue to how this public nuisance.

The absence of toilet facilities in these densely populated have made matters worse in the Abuja where this nonchalant behaviour has remained unabated.

Insiders familiar with the development will admit that past and present administrative Health Departments in the Area Council seem to look on at this irritable and horrible public nuisance, that has yet to ebb.

Beyond the immediate threat lies the challenge. High level of corruption occasioned by lax oversight, and the unfair advantage, allegedly given by some Council officials to violators of sanitation environmental laws. If the laws are implemented stricto senso, ought to have brought respite to the people. Sadly, notable highly placed business Enterprises in the area in helping people make sense of the world around them.

Investigation revealed that most property owners who have failed to provide toilets, have gone away with this culture of impunity by giving our cash gifts to sanitation workers assigned the responsibility to enforce the laws for the culprits to escape arrest and prosecution in Mobile Courts in the Council Area.

It may explain why these areas have become a safe haven for migrant workers who use their flash light to trace their path. It is also a source of livelihood to property owners and their families, including those who dwell outside the locality.

Investigation revealed that the worship Centre that plays host to over 3,000 worshippers, particularly migrant traders and commuters and passengers of a popular Transport Company beside the worship Centre that ought to ease the pain; again, add up the menace of open defecation especially in Iyanya and Maraba.

Whenever guests and visitors to the motor park are pressed, they are either advised to make use of a nearby continence at a popular phone Plaza belonging to a popular business Mongul, and pay N150 to ease themselves.

But, those who are unable to afford the token, often resort to open defecation. This practice in African palace — is called ‘shot put’, a terminology meaning using a nylon or a bucket placed on the ground in a closet and dump it in a nearby gutter in anticipation that the rain could flush their faeces into nearby drainages.

An Imam in one of the Mosque in Iyanya Alhaji Abdulraman Suleiman insisted that there are toilet facilities in the Mosque.

He said in an interview that, “I know they used to have toilet facilities in that Mosque. They cannot be worshipping there with the population and not have a toilet.

“Although for sometime, I have not visited the place, I know they have a toilet”, he said.

But our reporter investigation also revealed that traders and residents of the area find it difficult to quit their shops and apartments despite the risk of epidemic lurking around them due to the prime location of the street biggest tradition in the area.

Open defecation, which has become a norm, is closely linked to habit by some traders who also dispose their refuse into the drains around most markets in the Metropolis usually when there is a downpour. This also account for the flooding menace in major streets, including Kurudu and Jikwonyi face two gutters that flow above its brim during downpour due largely to improper waste disposal, bristling around the essence of human existence.

Motorists and passerby are apprehensive about steps relevant authorities have taken towards addressing this systematic failure in Nigeria’s public service by concerned authorities.

The menance has put a question mark in the Area Council quest to end open defecation in Nigeria, which is still lagging India, which is the second worst Country battling with open defecation, ahead of 2030 target set by the United Nations for Sub-Sahan Africa to end open defecation.