Worldwide, according to UNICEF, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water, two out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practice open defeacation. This project is aimed at promoting an Open Defeacation Free (ODF) community thereby achieving Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, 11 and 15 (Good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, life on land respectively), which are a major part of the core values we have at The Sapphires Development Initiative.
Also, considering the relentless effort of the present administration of Ekiti state to attain an Open Defeacation-Free road map in the Year 2022, our media team lead at The Sapphires Development Initiative, Miss Oluwatosin Lawal who spearheaded this particular project decided that the objectives of this project would include:
1. Creating awareness about ODF
2. Ensuring everyone is involved in ODF
3. Thorough sensitization and persuasion
4. Provision of adequate facilities to aid ODF
Thus, the following steps were taken in achieving these goals;
First, a sensitization exercise was carried out amongst the casual workers (cleaners) in College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, where about 70 women were sensitized on the menace of open defeacation and the essence of an open defeacation free environment.
Following this, permission to carry out a field survey was mandatory in order to ascertain the prevalence of open defeacation practice in Ikere. Thus, a particular area called Oke Paadi was chosen to be the survey sample area. Afterwhich, an advocacy visit was paid to the Honourable commissioner for Infrastructure and Public utilities. The field survey was then carried out where a hundred (100) houses were sampled in the area.
A report was thereafter put together whose topic was “PREVALENCE OF OPEN DEFEACATION PRACTICE IN OKE PAADI AREA OF IKERE EKITI” and it contained introduction, statement of problem, research justification, methodology, result of findings, recommendation and conclusion. This report was presented to the Honourable Commissioner as a working document for necessary action in the area and beyond.
After this was done, a four – room toilet was renovated at the primary health care centre, Ikere local government. The beneficiaries being all patients of the health centre as well as indigenes within the vicinity. Finally, an awareness campaign against Open defeacation was carried out in the market (Oja Oba) on Tuesday, 11th of January, 2020 led by Miss Oluwatosin Lawal, the project team lead and co-supported by her teammates in her Community Development Service (a National Youth Service Corps initiative).
Overall, The Sapphires Development Initiative reached about 300 people with the information of ODF and about 100+ lives impacted with the renovated toilets. Leaving prints of happiness and greatness wherever we are is a virtue taught at TSDI alongside our goals and objectives of creating a fundamental evolution where individuals are groomed to attain excellence through harnessed potentials. This is what the ODF achieved and we are just getting started.