Bread of Life Development Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has constructed 14 modern public toilets equipped with solar powered borehole for water supply, in 14 small towns in Ekiti state, under the European Union-funded Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme Phase Three (EU-WSSSRP) III.
The public toilets, commissioned for use early this month, are sited at Illuomoba, Agbado, Egbe, Imesi- Ekiti, Ijan, Aisegba, and Ode in Gbonyin Local Government; and Erio, Ido-Ile, Ipole-Iloro, Aramoko, Oke Imesi, Erinjinyan and Ikogosi in Ekiti West Local Government.
The construction of the 8-compartment public toilets is aimed at reducing the incidence of open defecation and increase access to safe drinking water supplies in Ekiti State. This is the first time in the history of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Nigeria that 14 modern public toilets and solar powered water supply system have been constructed within two local governments areas within a state, under a donor project within two years.
Around 1.4 million people defecate in the open in Ekiti state, and the ﬁgure is likely to increase to 2.1 million by the year 2022. Open defecation rate in Ekiti State is between 42% and 60.8%, the second highest in Southwest Nigeria, far higher than the national average of 37%, according to the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping Survey (WASH-NORM) 2018, commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Also, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2017 report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)/UNICEF reveals that 86.8% of households in Ekiti State have their drinking water contaminated at the source by E. Coli as a result of unsafe human practices such as open defecation.
The construction of the public toilets was therefore aimed at reducing open defecation in Ekiti state and its associated health effects; generally increase living standards; improve economic livelihoods through jobs and income creations; reduce economic losses due to incidences of diseases caused by poor sanitation and safe water; and improve safe hygiene practices in 14 small towns in Gbonyin/Ekiti West LGAs, Ekiti state.
Each of the toilets, also known as Sanitation Demonstration Units (SDUs), has a block of gender sensitive water flushed toilets, urinals, handwashing facilities, bathing room, laundry, car wash fitted with an overhead car port, a borehole fitted with a solar powered 1.5hp submersible pump, 4000 litres water tank mounted on a 3m suction, public water supply points, and onsite waste water treatment facilities.
The constructed facilities had been handed over to 14 benefitting communities early this month, for ownership and management through their respective Water Consumers Associations (WCAs) using an innovative business model. Revenues realised from user charges from use of toilet facilities, urinals, car wash, and public water supplied are deposited in a Sanitation Revolving Fund, which is a financing mechanism for development of sanitation infrastructure in the small towns, at household and institutional levels.
The Ekiti State Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities will coordinate the activities of a six-member Public Toilet Management Committee (PMTC) set up to continuously monitor operation and maintenance of the public toilets, while Ekiti State Water Supply and Sanitation Regulatory Unit will provide regulatory oversight to maintain service and quality standards.
The overall objective of Farewell to Open Defecation implemented between April 29, 2018 and December 31, 2020 project, is to increase access to sustainably managed, safe Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in 14 Small towns in Gbonyin and Ekiti West Local Government Areas (LGAs), Ekiti State.
A virtual project close out workshop will hold on Thursday, January 28, 2021 in the Zoom link below: Join the meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5105590442?pwd=ZnVFbnVvMklIYUJpNjl4ZmlBKysxUT09
Meeting ID: 510 559 0442