Lagos, Harpic call for improved sanitation
As part of its agenda to sustain and maintain a healthy environment and also to mark the World Toilet Day, the Lagos State government has entered into partnership with Reckitt and Benckiser West Africa, makers of Harpic, to improve toilet hygiene and sanitation across the state.
According to the statistics by World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) in 2015, approximately 2.4 billion people live in poor sanitary conditions and one in every 10 people have no choice but to defecate in the open. 1000 children under five years die every day due to poor sanitation and personal hygiene practices. Nigeria is fifth in the world where open defecation is still a major problem.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in his address said: “Today we join the rest of the world to celebrate personal hygiene as a part of good health and wealth generation because health is wealth. It is a day set aside to reflect on the benefits attached to the personal hygiene and public sanitation by the individual and society at large.”
Ambode who was represented by his Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Babatunde Hunpe, said that Lagos state, the fifth largest economy in Africa with the population of over 22 million is faced with the challenges of providing adequate infrastructures for proper and public sanitation despite the 570 public toilets sited at various locations across the metropolis.
“Open defecation and urination have for long being government’s problem, but through strategic public education and enlighten campaign especially at market Motor Park some other locations the issues will soon come to an end,” said Ambode. The Governor lamented on the effects of open defecation saying it populates underground water table, contaminates agricultural produce and aid the spread of various diseases.
Ambode added: “To this end we establish the public sanitation utility units to provide a road map for converting open defecation and urination in public area across the state. We are also accelerating the provision and monitoring of public toilet in accessible location.”