The Federal Government has identified Kwara and Plateau as the states with the highest population of people who openly defecate.
The Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Ministry of Water Resources, Emmanuel Awe, disclosed this at the 2021 First Quarter Lunch Time Seminar for Media Executives in Abuja.
Awe said Nigeria has the highest number of people in the world who defecate openly.
According to him, at least N455 billion is lost annually to poor sanitation.
Quoting the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping Survey (WASH-NORM) 2019, he said 44 million people practised open defecation in Nigeria, a little improvement on the 47 million people captured in the 2018 report.
Kwara, however, tops the list of states with prevalent practice of open defecation.
The North Central state is followed by Plateau, Ebonyi and Kogi states.
According to the data from WASH-NORM, 64 per cent of Kwara residents engage in the practice, 61 per cent in Plateau while Ebonyi and Kogi states are tied with 58 per cent of their populations engaging in the practice.
One in four Nigerians practise open defecation, according to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF’s joint monitoring report.
It is more common in places where there is less access to good toilets.