The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has expressed commitment to implementing higher standards of environmental sanitation and orderliness.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, gave the assurance at the launching of inclusive sensitisation on environmental sanitation, held at Kwali Area Council Abuja on Monday.
Aliyu explained that the exercise was part of measures to increase public awareness on sound environmental practices in all communities across the six area councils of the FCT.
The minister also stated that the exercise would inculcate in residents, the habit of maintaining clean and hygienic environments in the satellite towns.
According to her, all hands must be on deck, and everyone has to take responsibility for his or her actions.
“As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that communities take action to prevent further transmission, reduce the impacts of the outbreak and support control measures.
“Proper waste management and good hygiene practices are critical to enhancing public health and are indispensable for optimal economic productivity.
“It is for this reason that the FCTA , through the Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) initiated the Inclusive Sensitisation On Environmental Sanitation in all communities in the FCT, to ensure that everyone gets involved in taking actions to guarantee a healthy environment,” she said.
She noted that most of the diseases affecting people were as a result of poor environmental hygiene practices, the effect of which had been an increase in morbidity and mortality rates in children under five.
Aliyu assured that the FCT administration would continue to enforce existing policies and guidelines on issues related to acceptable waste management practices.
The minister affirmed that indiscriminate disposal of wastes had an impact not only on public health, but also on human dignity and personal safety.
Aliyu noted that the sanitation programme launched would greatly improve the health conditions of residents of the FCT.
She also said that sanitation would help it take a step closer to achieving one of the cardinal objectives of the administration while advancing the cause of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) attainment.
Speaking, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusola Adesola, expressed concern on the World Bank’s reports on the economic impact of poor sanitation across communities in Nigeria.
The report according to him estimated that Nigeria losses a whooping N455 billion annually, representing 1.3 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He was represented by the Acting Secretary Area Council Services Secretariat, Mrs Omolola Olanipekun.
Adesola said the event was a clear demonstration and very pungent commitment by the FCT administration toward improving environmental sanitation and good hygiene across all communities of the six area councils.
He noted that poor sanitation had become a major public health concern with unprecedented attendant adverse impacts on all.
“It is common knowledge that diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery, diarrhea are linked to poor sanitary conditions.
“This goes to show that the state of sanitation of a particular community, largely determines the health status and wellbeing of its residents,” Adesola said.
Also, Mr Olusegun Olusa, Director, Environmental Services, Satellite Town Development Department (STDD), said the FCT Master Plan made provisions for development of sanitary and engineered landfills at Gosa in Abuja Municipal Area Council and Guabe in Kuje Area Council.
Olusa, who regretted that both lands had been seriously encumbered, however, assured that the FCDA was working on the design of an engineered landfill to be situated at 350 hectares currently being salvaged from 500 hectares originally provided for in the master plan at Gosa.
According to him, when developed, it will serve as final treatment site for waste from FCC and the area council.