OPEN DEFECATION IN NSUKKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA: SHIFTING THE DISCUSSION TOWARDS HEALTH AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in Nigeria reports that about 80 million Nigerians are living in slums. This scourge has a concomitant effect on healthy living and environmental safety as these homeless people and those living in dilapidated neighborhoods lack access to adequate sanitary facilities. This makes improper waste disposal and open defecation (OD) inevitable. The paper therefore examines the health and socio-economic implications of OD in Nsukka LGA. The study relies on both qualitative and quantitative data generated from primary and secondary sources such as scholarly articles, official and media reports, interviews and questionnaires, etc.; and are analyzed descriptively. Our findings show that poverty, dearth of sanitary facilities in homes and public places, as well as poor attitude to hygiene account for spate of OD in Nsukka LGA; and recommend inter alia prompt government response towards providing adequate sanitary infrastructure especially in public places as a panacea to end OD and dangers associated with it in the local government.
Keywords: Nsukka, open defecation, waste disposal, sanitary facility, health, socio-economic.