From Chuks Moses, Awka
For visitors and citizens residing within Idemili South council of Anambra state, hard times await anyone caught defecating in the open and any other unhygienic acts across the seven constituting communities of the council.
This was made public Tuesday by the Chairman, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCOM), Godwin Uche at Ojoto, headquarters of council during the inauguration of WASHCOM federation.
According to him, anybody caught defecating in the open and at unauthorized locations in any part of the council shall be made to pay a fine of N5,000.
The Councillor explained that the fine was arrived at as one way of checkmating and discouraging the ugly trend in the area.
Hear him, “We move round to make sure all buildings have toilet facilities or eject the strangers living there.
“Those caught defecating in my Oba community are fined N5,000 or you dig the surface and bury your faeces.”
Uche regretted that efforts of the committee to ensure the communities attain the open defecation free status were being frustrated by strangers and those he termed illiterate persons who failed to appreciate the health implications of the act.
“We’ve had influx of strangers due to urbanization. People from various states are moving into our communities.
“Uncompleted buildings are being occupied by most of these strangers and some of the buildings lack toilet facilities,” he observed.
“Traditionally, our people like defeacating in the open. It has been like a culture and efforts at eradicating it has not been easy; though it is reducing gradually.”
The Community mobilization Officer (CMO), Okpaladinobi Chinwoke, said formation of WASHCOM Federation was to ensure sustainability of the WASH activities.
“One of the greatest challenge of WASH programme is sustainability. We hope that after the establishment of WASHCOM Federation there would be a great improvement in the communities,” she pointed out.