By G9ija

As part of its World Toilet Day declaration, The Lagos State Government says it is finalising implementation plans on its Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) policy, envisaged to complement extant laws and curb the menace of open defecation and urination in the State.

Speaking during the celebration of the 2018 World Toilet Day in Ikeja on Tuesday, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti decried the practices of 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 that the 2018 World Toilet Day celebration, which was themed “When Nature Calls”, was “promoting the campaign against open defecation, a practice that is not only unhealthy but also anathema to the Lagos Mega city of our dream”.

The Environment Commissioner stated that not less than 892 million people around the world practiced 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 prioritise 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 that the World Toilet Day 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 Lagos State Government was making determined efforts to eradicate the menace of open defecation and urination through the provision of public toilets and upgrading of already existing facilities across the State as well as the implementation of the Lagos State Water Sanitation and Hygiene Policy.

He, thereafter, called on all 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 entire citizenry.

The World Toilet Day is an important international observance day, dedicated to creating awareness and inspiring actions to combat the global sanitation challenges facing humanity. The 2018 edition of the World Toilet Day was celebrated by Lagos State Government in conjunction with with Reckit Benkiser.