By Hassana Yakubu
A Kaduna-based environmentalist, Ibrahim Salisu, has constructed an eco-friendly bamboo toilet and bathroom which can last for many years.
Ibrahim, who is also the Founder of Teku International Farm, made this disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday.
He said that the aim of constructing the bamboo toilet and bathroom was to assist in the reduction of open defecation at both the rural and urban centres due to scarcity of such conveniences in most of the houses across the country.
According to him, the practice of open defecation brings with it serious health risks, linked to deaths from diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and other communicable diseases and infections.
He also described it as a risk factor for violence against women and girls, especially those residing in rented apartments, where women might need to leave home in the dark to find somewhere to defecate.
The environmentalist pointed out that embracing construction of bamboo toilet and bathroom would curtail the spread of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
According to him, many Nigerians still defecate in bushes, gutters, sidewalks, motor parks, recreation parks, rivers and streets, amongst others.
He said that efforts had been made over the decades to reduce cases of open defecation in Nigeria, adding, however, that they failed due to lack of commitment and dedication by citizens.
Ibrahim said that he had started training some young bricklayers, labourers and house engineers residing in the state.
“Bamboo toilet is the cheapest and it can last for many years due to its strength and adaptability to ecological challenges,” the environmentalist said.
He called on Nigerians to embrace the innovation in order to reduce the burden of open defecation in the society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ibrahim was the first to construct a bamboo upstairs in Kaduna, which attracted many tourists from both within and outside the country.
In his own contribution, a Science Climatologist, Dr Piman Hoffman, who is also the Assistant Director, African Climate Reporters, lauded Ibrahim for the innovation.
He said that open defecation need to be tackled to save millions of women, children and elderly ones against the spread of infectious diseases.
According to him, there is poor awareness on the dangers posed by open defecation, both to humans, animals and living organisms.
He called on those living in rural areas to embrace use of bamboo trees in constructing toilets and bathrooms to reduce the problem of inadequate toilets.
Hoffman said that about 47 million people still practised open defecation, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
He called on governments at all levels, NGOs and other stakeholders to embrace the new innovation in homes and public places so as to halt open defecation and its effects. (NAN)