As part of its World Toilet Day declaration, the Lagos State Government says it is finalizing implementation plans on its Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) policy, envisaged to complement laws and curb the menace of open defecation and urination.
Speaking at the year’s World Toilet Day in Ikeja according to Tribune, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti decribed open defecation and urination as unwholesome with a lot of negative impact on the environment, public health, human dignity and personal safety, especially for women, children and those in vulnerable situations.
He said the celebration with the theme: “When Nature Calls”, was aimed at “promoting the campaign against open defecation, a practice that is not only unhealthy but also anathema to the Lagos Megacity of our dream”.
The Environment commissioner stated that no fewer than 892 million people around the world practised open defecation as they were unable to access basic sanitation facilities, particularly toilets and water.
“This staggering statistics, no doubt, calls for urgent action among all stakeholders to prioritize toilet and sanitation issues, enhance access to water and sanitation facilities and as well spread awareness of the ills of undesirable sanitation practices,” he said.
He said the celebration brought to the front burner issues, such as water, sanitation and hygiene, which required urgent actions to stem the tide of diseases and bring about healthy citizenry.
“The world is changing faster than we can imagine with human population increasing at an exponential rate. Therefore, there is an urgent need to provide access to safe and sustainable sanitation systems that will effectively address the menace of open urination and defecation as well as other sanitation infractions to prevent the widespread of diseases,” he said.
According to him, proper handling of these critical issues would help reduce government expenditure on treatment of diseases and make more money available for other important public uses.
He stated that the government was making efforts to eradicate the menace of open defecation and urination through the provision of public toilets and upgrading of already facilities as well as the implementation of the Lagos State Water Sanitation and Hygiene Policy.
He called on Lagosians to join the global crusade, spread the awareness, inspire environmentally-friendly actions and support in facilitating the provision of sustainable sanitation systems capable of promoting economic growth and well-being of the citizenry.
The World Toilet Day is aimed at creating awareness to combat the global sanitation challenges facing humanity.