Over 47 million Nigerians still practice open defecation (OD), and Enugu state is not exempted as about 47 percent of the populace still practice open defecation. This is a pointer to the lack of proper toilet infrastructure and water facilities, especially in rural communities.

Understanding this challenge and looking to ensure its eradication, South Saharan Social Development Organization, in partnership with WaterAid Nigeria and the Enugu State Ministry of Water Resources, Small Town Units, and the Igbo-Eze North LGA WASH Unit, organized a Community Triggering Event on Ending Open Defecation in Mboshi, Aji community, Igbo Eze North LGA. Participants include community leaders, women leaders, and community members. 

The community members were engaged using the Defecation Area Map (DAM) triggering method. Participants were asked to draw their community map and highlight important landmarks. They then identified their houses on the maps with cardboard. The facilitator then asked who had toilets and asked the community members to applaud them. Community members without toilets were asked to identify on the map with sawdust where they defecate.

At this point, community members were asked to make their observations. A participant, Madam Cordelia Ugwuanyi, said, “The community is filled with faeces. This causes sickness in people.” Another community member, Mr. Ali Michael, commented, “The constant open defecation causes diarrhea and cholera, especially in children.” He further added that open defecation makes the environment unhabitable. 

This method helped the participants zone out and get a true perspective of the community’s state. They saw the downsides of open defecation and were able to point out the effects. At the end of the engagement, they agreed on the following action plans. 


– Immediate formation of a 12-man WASH committee with seven males and five females. 

– The WASHCOM members were directed to visit households to determine the actual number of households with and without toilet facilities and report to the elders for appropriate fines and sanctions.

–  Establishment of community bye-laws to prohibit open defecation. 

– Construction and usage of toilet facilities in every home. 

– Constant sanitation effort to keep the surroundings clean. 

– Putting an end to open defecation in the homes. 

– Proper food hygiene is maintained in the homes. 

– Using the community’s task force to ensure adherence. 

– Community members agreed to a three months time frame to ensure that every household has a toilet.

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