As part of the initiative to domesticate the eradication of open defecation nationwide by 2025, Lagos on Tuesday flagged off the CLEAN NIGERIA: USE THE TOILET CAMPAIGN in Apapa Local Government.
Speaking during the flag-off, held at the Legislative Hall of Apapa Local Government, the Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji said the campaign seeks to promote the use of toilets and good hygiene practices in every community across the state and in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary represented by a Director in the office of Sanitation Services, Mr. Babajide Adeoye noted that 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.
He stated that on the 19th of November, 2022, during the World Toilet Day (WTD) Commemoration, the State Government started the campaign in three Local Government Areas across the Senatorial Districts in the State, which were Ifako – Ijaiye, Ikorodu and Lagos Island LGAs.
He recalled that in year 2018, Former President Muhammadu Buhari had declared a state of emergency on Open Defecation and subsequently signed into law an Executive Order 009 titled “The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order 2019.”
He stressed that the President’s action became necessary because globally, Nigeria had been ranked the second country with the highest number of people practising open defecation.
He added that to achieve the feat, the Federal Government set up a National Secretariat tagged “CLEAN NIGERIA: USE THE TOILET” campaign to drive this message through the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The State Government’s mandate to eradicate Open Defecation is embedded in Pillar 1, Goal 2 of the Lagos Resilience Strategy Document which focused on “IMPROVE ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION” through 4 Initiatives
He added that the 4 initiatives were
PROVISION OF PUBLIC TOILETS AND BATHROOMS IN EACH LGA AND LCDA;
CONSTRUCTION OF COMMUNITY WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS;
DEVELOP AN INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM;
EXPAND AND PROTECT WATER SOURCES TO IMPROVE THE CITY’S WATER SUPPLY.
“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.
He stated that Sensitization Technique is a driving tool in achieving an Open Defecation Free Lagos saying that the campaign must be people-centered and community-based.
He emphasized that community engagement with relevant stakeholders especially in the vulnerable and underserved Communities is of high priority adding that despite the success of the campaign, challenges ranging from no budgetary allocation to lack of political will have confronted the campaign saying there is need for political support from Local Governments to cascade the policy to the people, who are the direct beneficiaries.
In her welcome address, the Chairman Apapa Local Government, Hon. Adejomoke Senbanjo said the aim of the flag off is to eradicate open defecation within Apapa Local Government adding that through research, indiscriminate defecation had noticeably increased within the metropolis.
She mentioned that it had been discovered that Petrol truck drivers, Motor boys and street traders were the main offenders of this nefarious act.
She urged stakeholders present to implement decisions reached at the meeting to ensure that open defecation is totally eradicated in Apapa Local Government in particular and Lagos State at large.
The Flag off of the Clean Lagos; Use the Toilet Campaign which has been already implemented in Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Ifako Ijaiye Local Government will subsequently be launched in other Local Government within the State.
Director (Public Affairs)
June 20, 2023