LAGOS PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTAL HYGIENE, SEEKS TO END OPEN DEFECATION

The Lagos State Government on Thursday has reiterated its commitment to promote the use of toilets and good hygiene practices in every community in Lagos.
 The Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji made this known at the Flag – off of the Clean Nigeria: “Use the Toilet” Campaign held at the Ojo Local Government adding that the programme aimed at ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
Gaji represented by a Director in the Sanitation Service department Mrs Omoyeni Balogun said the campaign is led by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, UNICEF, some local and international partners for a holistic approach to eradicate open defecation.
He added that the Federal Government set up a National Secretariat tagged “CLEAN NIGERIA: USE THE TOILET” campaign to drive the message through the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“Imagine our country Nigeria and Lagos State as a whole where every citizen has access to clean and safe toilet facilities. A Nation where open defecation is a thing of the past, replaced by proper sanitation habits that protect both individuals and communities from disease and contamination” he said.
He said in achieving this feat, there is need for all to come together as a nation and prioritize the construction of clean and accessible toilet facilities in communities, schools and public spaces stressing that It calls for educational programs that raise awareness about the importance of proper sanitation.
He said the State Government flagged – off the campaign in the State during the Year 2020 World Toilet Day with a view to decentralizing the campaign in all LGAs / LCDAs adding that the Government have been able to cover Ten Local Government Areas/Local Council Development Areas aiming to cover the remaining ten before the year runs out.
Gaji said Government’s mandate to eradicate Open Defecation is embedded in Goal 2, Initiative 1 of the Lagos Resilience Strategy Document which focuses on providing Public Toilets and Bathrooms in each LGAs and LCDAs saying Sustainable Developmental Goal (SDG 6) emphasized more on IMPROVE ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION.
He added that the awareness Technique was a driving tool in achieving an Open Defecation Free Lagos saying the campaign must be people-centered and community engagement with relevant stakeholders especially in the vulnerable and underserved Communities must be of high priority.
He said it is important to point out that the campaign, despite its successes have also been confronted with some challenges ranging from no budgetary allocation to lack of political will stressing that there is a need for political support from Local Governments to cascade this policy to the people, who are the direct beneficiaries.
According to him, it is my hope that in view of the importance of this campaign to our national developmental process and meeting the goal of eradicating open defecation by 2025, I strongly believe that this campaign and other initiatives of this present administration will contribute to the success of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.
He said as the lack of access to clean toilets and improper disposal of waste pose significant challenges to public health and well-being he assured residents that the government is set to address the fundamental issues that affects the safety and Future of the State.
In his remarks the Chairman Ojo Local Government, Hon Rasulu Olusola said the issue of open defecation is not just a matter of Sanitation but a critical public health concern that affects the well being of our communities.
He said the clean Lagos initiative, aims to raise awareness about the dangers of open defecation, promote the construction of public toilet facilities and implement rigorous hygiene practices across the local government.
He urged all participants to join hands to ensure a cleaner, healthier and sustainable environment by instilling a culture of cleanliness beneficial to future generations.
Signed
Kunle Adeshina
Director(Public Affairs)
MOE&WR
April 25, 2024