Executive Order 006: Enugu State Government’s Bold Moves Towards an Open Defecation-Free Future

Enugu State has taken a significant leap towards a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future. Governor Peter N. Mbah’s Executive Order No. 006 of 2023 is a landmark decision that sets the state on a path towards becoming sustainably open defecation-free. This visionary move is a testament to the government’s commitment to the well-being of its citizens and the environment. This is coming against the backdrop of the State Government’s launch of the Enugu State Water Sector Law, 2021 and the Bye-Law Against Open Defecation enacted by each of the Local Government Council of the seventeen (17) Local Government Areas of Enugu State.

As an organization dedicated to enhancing access to sustainable WASH services across Nigeria, NEWARI commends Enugu State Government’s Executive Order No. 006 of 2023, aimed at achieving an open defecation-free status, whilst urging the government to take a step further by taking cogent concrete actions to ensure its speedy implementation.

The Order’s provisions are commendable, but implementation is key. Therefore, NEWARI is calling on the government to:
  1. Allocate sufficient funds for its implementation, especially on WASH infrastructure development in public spaces
  2. Engage with communities to ensure inclusive and sustainable solutions
  3. Set timelines and benchmarks for achieving ODF status
  4. Collaborate with stakeholders, including NGOs, to leverage expertise and resources.

With no LGA in Enugu State amongst the over 100 LGAs across Nigeria that are certified to be open defecation-free, the Executive Order 006 is indeed a bold move in the right direction and it presents an opportunity for the state to set a precedent for other states that are still lagging behind.

As Enugu State embarks on this journey towards an open defecation-free status, it is imperative for the WASH Office to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, and local government councils. The effective implementation of  the Order  will have far-reaching impact across various sectors, including healthcare, education, and economic development. By ensuring accessible toilets and handwashing facilities in all households and public places, Enugu State is poised to reduce waterborne diseases, improve public health, and enhance the overall quality of life for its residents.

Access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services is a fundamental human right. Let us make it a reality in Enugu State.


Executive Order No 006 of 2023
By the Governor of Enugu State
Order for Open Defecation Free Enugu and Other Related Matters in Enugu Metropolis and the State
Whereas:
A. The Governor of Enugu State is desirous of ending open defecation in Enugu State.
B. Some households and public places, including schools, hotels and places of worship, do not have accessible toilets and handwashing facilities within their premises.
C. It is the policy of the Government of Enugu State, through its relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure access to toilet and handwashing facilities in households and public facilities.
D. The Government of Enugu State in furtherance of the aforementioned policy is providing water for public, domestic and industrial purposes for the use of people in Enugu Metropolis and across the State. 
E. The Government of Enugu State is desirous of and committed to taking steps towards ensuring that Enugu State is open defecation-free. 
Now Therefore, Pursuant to the Authority Vested in me by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended and other enabling laws, including but not limited to the Enugu Water Sector Law 2021, I hereby order as follows:
1. That Enugu State Government shall take steps to ensure that the State becomes sustainably open defecation-free
2. That the state-wide Open-defecation-free (ODF) Roadmap shall be as developed by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) office of the Ministry of Water Resources, in partnership with relevant stakeholders.
3. The WASH office is hereby authorised to implement this Order by ensuring that all households and public places, including schools, hotels, places of worship, market places, hospitals, and offices have accessible toilets and handwashing facilities within their premises.
4. This Order is further supported by the Bye-Law Against Open Defecation enacted by each of the Local Government Council of the seventeen (17) Local Government Areas, with appropriate sanctions and penalties.
5. Henceforth, all development projects shall include construction of standard sanitation facilities as an internal part of the approval process and implementation.
6. All enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the WASH Office of the Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this Order.
7. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately. 
This Order is intended to improve the internal management of the state government; that is not intended to and does not create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against Enugu State, its departments, agencies or entities, its officers, employees or agents or any other person.
Issued this 22nd December 2023
Signed:
His Excellency
Dr. Peter N Mbah
Governor of Enugu State
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Network of Water Rights Initiative (NEWARI), commonly known as WASH Rights Network, is a registered Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (with registration number CAC/RN: 190076) that is focused on enhancing access to safe, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in Nigeria through a human rights and responsibility-based approach. Integral to the core objectives of the Network is the alleviation of water poverty by promoting collaboration, effective partnerships and synergy amongst WASH-focused organizations in Nigeria. NEWARI is committed to contributing towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG #6) to make clean water and sanitation accessible to all.

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