Muslim women from the Oyo State chapter of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) have called for severe penalties for any individual who engage in open defecation.

They stated that this is important in order to lessen the prevalence of open defecation in various rural and urban areas.

The association made this disclosure on Monday while addressing journalists during a press conference heralding the association’s 2021 week in Ibadan with the theme “My Community, My Pride: Promoting General Well-being and Stopping Open Defecation.

FOMWAN Amirah, Dr Bushra Oloso, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues, noted that open defecation is still common in some communities.

She insisted that stringent punitive measures would serve as a deterrent to others who may want to be involved in the act.

“FOMWAN is also advocating stringent punitive measures to discourage the practice. For instance, some states have already made laws to prohibit open defecation. In line with this, we want to commend the Oyo State House of Assembly for making open defecation a punishable offence.

“The House in December, 2020 passed the Oyo State Open Defecation Bill, 2020 which when assented by the Governor Seyi Makinde prescribes a fine of N50,000 for anyone who defecated in the open in any part of the State.

“Also, anyone who owns a property and does not provide toilet facility within three months from the commencement of the bill, commits an offence and he/she is liable on conviction for three months or a fine of N50,000 or both.”

Oloso while speaking further said that FOMWAN would work with other socio-religious associations across the country towards ending open defecation and ultimately enhancing the well-being of Nigerians.

She said that the association’s campaign to end open defecation would not be a one-off thing as FOMWAN was set to make it a continuous effort in all their chapters, branches and affiliates.

She said that open defecation contaminates the environment, spreads diseases, community unfriendly and promotes un-wellness for the people.

Oloso said that FOMWAN was advocating for punitive measures to open defecation violators in order to discourage the practice.

Oloso called on Makinde to urgently assent to the bill in order to discourage open defecation in the state, adding that the association would forward a letter on the matter to Makinde in order to speed up the ascent to the bill.

“As I have stated, FOMWAN will as a matter of fact urgently write a formal letter to the Governor to assent his signature to the open defecation bill.”