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Two months after ICIR’s report, FG begins construction of public toilets in Abuja

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TWO months after the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (The ICIR) investigation on open defecation in major markets and parks in Abuja, the government has begun the construction of public toilets in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory.

On July 20, 2022, The ICIR detailed how major markets and parks in Abuja are being marred by open defecation.  The investigation, titled “Why Open defecation persists” captured the need for public toilets in some places in Abuja.

Some of the identified places in the report are Dei Dei, Kubwa, Berger, and Nyanya.

However, FCT Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, RUWASSA, has partnered with private investors to construct public toilets in some major parts of the FCT.

Independent findings by The ICIR revealed that the construction of public toilets were contracted to Sadash investment company limited by the FCT RUWASSA

Two blocks of multiple toilets have been constructed at Dei-dei.

One of the public toilets constructed at DeiDei Market

One is situated at the  Dei-dei Dakwa road junction close to the pedestrian bridge, while the other is located at the Finidabo junction beside a filling station. This one is already in use.  

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The ICIR had earlier reported that the available public toilets in Dei-dei were not fully functional nor hygenic as such people resulted to open defecation, especially under the bridge.

Speaking on the development, one of the commuters, who gave his name as Mahmud told The ICIR that traders and drivers could now make use of proper toilets to defecate, noting that it operates till late at night.

Another commuter, Ishiaq Abdullahi, while appreciating the development, noted that the access charge, which he describes as high, will militate against the objective of stopping open defecation. 

“We appreciate the public toilet, but they are charging N100 per usage. I may be able to afford it, but some people may not, thereby resorting to using open places,” he said. 

Further findings by The ICIR show that another public toilet was constructed at Lugbe, close to the Police signboard.

Publict Toilet at Lugbe

The construction, according to some residents interviewed by The ICIR, was completed within a few weeks.

Other places where the constructions of the toilets are currently ongoing, as confirmed by The ICIR’s independent findings, are Tipper Garage-Gwarinpa, Informal market, 3rd avenue-Gwarinpa, Apo bridge leading to Area 11-Garki, and  Kubwa.

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Speaking to The ICIR on the development, the spokesperson of RUWASSA, Sani Bala Karo, said the construction is part of the ongoing project to end open defecation before 2025.

Asked if the plan can end open defecation before 2025, Sani said about 10,000 public toilets are expected to be constructed in phases and different locations of the FCT before the end of 2025.

He stressed that the strategic and roadmap plans are comprehensive and adequate to achieve the goals of nullifying open defecation in the FCT.

“The project is part of Universal Sanitation Goals, which Nigeria is a signatory to end open defecation by 2030. Nigeria, as a nation, set 2025 as a local target in line with the directive of the President through Executive Order 009.

“The project is solely funded by the FCT Administration. However, the project is designed as Public, Private Partnership to be driven by investors who would build, operate and maintain the facilities.

“Private sectors are involved to complement government efforts. Under this arrangement investors are now encouraged to participate in toilet provision in, particularly, urban and peri-urban areas to stimulate the economy through the sanitation sector,” he added.

According to him, the Administration only provides a conducive atmosphere, such as land, for the investors to construct the toilets.

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He stressed that the investors would recover their investments through collection of charges from commuters over the years agreed upon.

He noted some other parts of the FCT that the constructions are completed or on the verge of completion as Zone 6 Berger, Sauka junction, Mabushi besides VIO, AYA besides AEPB, Informal market-3rd avenue Gwarinpa, Giri junction, Kubwa.

Author profile

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: umustapha@icirnigeria.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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