Open defecation is the human practice of defecating outside rather than into a toilet. People may choose fields, bushes, forests, ditches, streets, canals or other open space for defecation.
This, they do either because they do not have a toilet readily accessible or due to traditional cultural practices.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), estimates that about 892 million are still practicing open defecation.
Of those who still practice open defecation, 90 percent of them reside in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and Southern Asia.
Though, UNICEF acknowledged there is a drop in the number of people practicing open defecation, except for sub-Saharan Africa where Nigeria has 47 million people defecating in the open.
Nigeria ranks second in the world and the highest in population in Africa practicing open defecation.
To change the narratives, UNICEF and the Federal Government of Nigeria have partnered to achieve open defecation free by 2025 and also achieve universal access to safely manage sanitation by 2030.
According to findings, lack of improved toilet facilities, concerted awareness is the leading causes of open defecation
Nigeria needs to add two million toilets per year between 2019 and 2025 to achieve the target of universal basic sanitation. However, Nigeria’s current delivery of improved toilet is approximately 160,000 per year.
Indications have also shown that poor toilet managements encourage the scourge; fear of infections as a result of the uncertainty of the toilets generally by women attributes to open defecation.