November 19 every year is World Toilet Day. This is an official United Nation’s Observance which seeks to draw attention to the global need for hygiene, Sanitation and Safe Water.

Wondering what you should do as a journalist? Well here are some numbers to JumpStart your ideas.
According to the United Nations,

  • 62.5% of people around the world do not have access to safe sanitation.
  • 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet.
  • 892 million people practice open defecation
  • 1.8 billion people use a water source that could have been contaminated by feaces.

The Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 focuses on Sanitation and Water, with a target of ensuring that safe water and sanitation is achieved in all countries by 2030. Now, a look around your community as a journalist avails you of so much data that contrast this goal, leaving one wondering if this goal is at all achievable in Africa.
In Nigeria, the Federal Government declared a state of emergency on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene ( WASH) on Novermer 8th, 2018, calling on state and local governments to implement the National WASH Action Plan in all states by 2025. Nigeria ranks number 2, in the global rating on open defection. President Muhammadu Buhari admitted that ” WASH services at the rural areas are unsustainable as 46% of all water schemes are non-functional”
This call for action would be ineffective without funds being flushed into ensuring that toilets are built and managed, that safe water is made readily available and that mechanisms are available to manage outbreak of diseases
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, UNICEF’s Chief Officer in charge of Water Sanitation and Hygiene Kannan Nadar disclosed that “Nigeria needed an investment of N850 billion for households to construct 25 million toilets by 2025”
Here are things you should do as a journalist.

  • Get vox pop from people without safe water and toilets in your community.
  • Investigate the budget allocations for water and sanitation in your state
  • Report on health implications of unhygienic conditions of these communities and innovations in developed climes to solve this challenge.
  • Tweet with #worldtoiletday and #medrive
  • Hold discussion and enlightenment programs on your platforms.
  • Continue advocacy on WASH
  • Send us your report by mail

MEDRIVE is a media hub working to amplify Reports by journalists for impact journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.