Special Report: Kano Vows To Criminalize Open Defecation As Residents Raise Concerns Over Offensive Odour
By Rabiu Musa
Emergency Digest – Kano state government on Sunday revealed a plan to criminalize open defecation following outrage by Residents over indiscriminate open defecation by unknown persons at Ado Bayero Bridge popularly known as (Gadar Lado).
Offensive odor now oozed out from the general area of the multi-billion naira bridge located at the heart of the city along the strategic Kano – Zaria Highways amid a likely outbreak of “environmental enteropathy”.
Emergency Digest findings revealed that piles of feces and traces of urine decorated the concrete Island and the walkway beside the strategic flyover, and it is evident from close observations that perpetrators exploit the cloak of the night to perfect their unwholesome act.
Consequently, neighboring communities of Kundila Housing Estate – along Maiduguri road, Gyadi Gyadi, and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital have raised alarm over the danger posed by the indiscriminate action, as they called on the government to checkmate the habit.
The ‘notorious spot’ was part of the initiative of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administration to beautify, attract tourists, and promote sustainable cities in line with goal 11, of the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, 2030.
Haruna Adamu Haruna, 32, a petty trader opposite Almu Memorial Hospital, along Maiduguri road told Emergency Digest that the humongous odor greeting their noses was unbearable, as he added that “the only thing that made me be consuming this life-threatening odor was because of my business place and can’t leave the environment as my only source of livelihood”.
According to Mal. Ibrahim Garko, a regular passer-by of the spot noted that “The odor being perceived around Gadar Lado as a result of open defecation makes me bye-pass the route while going to the office”.
He said, “It seriously baffles and makes me uncomfortable anytime I come to pass the dirty place”.
Alhaji Muazzam Sani Ringim, 53, who resides miles away from the notorious spot laments the dirtiest condition of the environment.
He said, “As a responsible community we made several attempts to stop people from defecating on the spot, but all our effort was to no avail.”
Sani Ringim, therefore, called on the government to come to their rescue, noting that they’ll be the prime victims should any unexpected disease break out within the axis.
Speaking to Emergency Digest on Saturday in Kano, a Kano-based medical Doctor, Dr. Raliya Isah Ahmad, said the adverse health effects of open defecation (OD) are many on both the public and their environment.
She explained that the common ones include;
“Infectious Intestinal Diseases, including
diarrheal diseases which are exacerbated by poor water supplies, sanitation, and hygiene.”
Dr. Raliya said “Open Defecation may lead to the emergence of Chronic soil-transmitted helminthiases, increased anemia, giardiasis, environmental enteropathy, and small intestine bacteria anemia growth, stunting, and long-term impaired cognition. ”
ENVIRONMENTAL MINISTRY REACTS
In a reaction to the development, Malam Sunusi K/Naisa, the Public Relations Officer, Kano State Ministry of Environment said the government made a frantic effort to stop defecating human by-products on the spot.
He said, “In the past, we made several arrests in this respect and found out that most of the people arrested were not even from Kano”.
Malam Sunusi Kofar/Naisa added that the effort is at the top gear to institute a capital punishment on anyone caught defecating in such strategic locations.
He further assured the residents of the environment of the government’s quick action to rescue the situation and put a stop to the unwholesome habit.