The people of Jiwa Community in the FCT were yesterday sensitised against open defecation and other unhygienic practices as part of activities marking World Toilet Day.
Representative of Number Two Initiative, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), Mrs Shakirat Salaudeen, who spoke to newsmen during the campaign said that the move targets the 2019 theme which was tagged, ‘Leaving No One Behind. ‘
World Toilet Day is an official United Nations international observance day, marked annually on Nov. 19 to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
Salaudeen said that the organisation chose to take the campaign to the community because of the reports it got concerning the environmental challenges in the area.
She said: “We have come here to drive home the message by the UN, the government and other environmental stakeholders on sanitation and personal hygiene down to the grassroots.
“We are a driving force that breaches the gap between stakeholders and the grassroots, so that we can achieve the desired goal on sanitation and hygiene.
“There’s the need for change to safeguard human dignity and therefore, the trend of open defecation and other unhygienic practices must stop.”
The chief of the community, Dr Idris Musa, who spoke on behalf of his people appreciated the gesture made by the organisation.
He said that the move was timely, while also calling on his subjects to desist from unhygienic practices, as the trend do not only affect individuals’ health but the entire community.
According to him, personal hygiene was not left in the hands of government but must begin from individual homes, the community and the society at large.
“You must all agree with me that a dirty environment is hazardous, causes ill-health to not only you as an individuals but to others around you as well.
“It is necessary to return to the culture of the use of toilets at home or at designated stations.
“This will go a long way to reduce the crowd in our hospitals due to infectious diseases that we may have contacted via these unwholesome practices.
“It is also important to keep the toilets we use clean at all times,’’ he said.
He also urged governments at all levels as well as stakeholders to make provisions for public toilets where necessary so as to curb the menace.
Mr Yakubu Baba, Deputy Registrar, Environmental Health Officer’s Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) said that officers from the agency would be placed on ground to effect the desired change.
According to him, officers assigned to the community would go round daily, to advise households rather than sanction those who were found without proper toilet facilities.
This, he said, would help enlighten the people more on the havoc unhygienic practices may have on their places of habitation and health.
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