Jennifer Yarima, the Chairperson of Plateau chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has observed that women and girls living in houses without decent toilets are more at risk of being raped.
She made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Jos, adding that if women and girls had proper toilet, hoodlums would not find anything to capitalise on in their quest to commit the heinous crime.
She lamented that some rapists took advantage of the fact that most homes in some communities had no toilets, as such, found it easy to track down their victims.
Yarima revealed that NAWOJ had spoken with the Commissioner for Environment in Plateau on the need to ensure that all houses built decent toilets, explaining that defecating in the open by females and sharing toilet with different people, including men, could cause health problems for women and girls.
The chairperson advised parents to monitor the movement of their children, especially girls, and also be mindful of people they leave their children with, noting that most rape cases were done by people who were known to the victims such as uncles, cousins, neighbours.
She also called on parents to educate their children on sex education, saying that if they failed to do so, peers and other people might do so in a wrong manner.
“We must educate our children as a family so that when they go to the society, they will know what act is wrong or right, and would also know how to control themselves outside.” she said.
She said that the culture of silence by most families when a member was raped must be jettisoned, as such act encouraged culprits to continue the heinous crime.
NAN recalls that in July 2019, the Acting Managing Director of Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB), Mr Kefas Yilrwang, had lamented that some houses in Bukuru and Jos metropolis were built without toilet facilities.
Yilrwang had told NAN that occupants of such houses simply located nearby bush or abandoned building structures to ease themselves.
In an interview with NAN at that time, a female tenant (name withheld) said that she often went to nearby ‘bush’ to defecate, adding, “that is what most tenants in this area do.
‘’It is not a new thing; we are used to it and we have accepted it because the house rent is very cheap and affordable to us.
“Someday, our income might improve to enable us to secure accommodation with good toilets, but for now, this is what we can afford.”