After India becomes ODF, Nigeria faces a mounting challenge

Nigeria is just behind India in terms of individuals defecating in the open, according to the United Nations. As the Indian government gears to declare the country open-defecation free (ODF) October 2019, Nigeria is set to replace India and become the country with the largest number of open defecators.

According to media sources, the government of Nigeria is worried over the issue. In April 2018, the Nigerian government declared a state of emergency on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), with particular emphasis on sanitation.

In November 2018, Nigeria launched the National Action Plan for revitalisation of the WASH Sector — a 13-year plan of action. In February this year, the governments of India and Nigeria coordinated a study, with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other development partners, to help the African delegates gain insight from the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) — the sanitation programme in India.