The Lagos State Government on Thursday asserted that strict observance of hygiene and sanitation is one of the launchpads to increased lifespan in any society. One of the means to achieve this increased lifespan is a total abhorrence of open defecation and an embrace of the use of toilets at all times.
Speaking during the Launch of “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign” in Somolu Local Government Area, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mr. Omobolaji Tajudeen Gaji charged residents to usher in a new era of cleanliness and improved sanitation in Somolu Local Government and its environs as all residents are expected to.
Gaji, represented by a Director in the Sanitation Department of the Ministry, Mrs. Omoyeni Balogun urged everyone to rally behind the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign” with unwavering determination and enthusiasm., noting that there is a need for everyone to work together to ensure that every citizen can access a cleaner and safer toilet.
He added that the campaign targets Year 2025 to achieve the goal of making Nigeria open defecation free by promoting the construction and use of toilets in public places as well as ensuring every individual has access to clean and safe sanitation facilities.
He stressed that access to proper sanitation facilities is a fundamental human right and a crucial aspect of any developed society, adding that it is disheartening to know that some citizens still lack access to basic sanitation services and this can have adverse effects on the environment and socio-economic development in the society.
The Permanent Secretary emphasised that the menace of Open Defecation has been a significant challenge in the country, saying. “The Campaign is not just a call for change but a call for collective action from all citizens to work assiduously to achieve a cleaner and healthier Lagos.
He explained that the campaign starts with raising awareness about the importance of using toilets and proper sanitation practices in all communities; governments at all levels prioritising and investing in sanitation infrastructure and businesses with the private sector joining hands with the government to support the noble cause.
Gaji assured the residents that the government would continually improve public health, reduce the spread of diseases, protect the water sources and enhance the overall quality of life for all Nigerians.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, Somolu Local Government, Hon. Abdul Hamed Salawu expressed his appreciation to the State Government for bringing such an initiative to the community.
Salawu, represented by the Supervisor for Environment in the LG, Hon. Olumide Akinola, said the lack of Sanitation and Hygiene are factors that cause various diseases that affect human existence.
He said the Local Government was ready to support the “Clean Lagos: Use the Toilet Campaign” in order to put a stop to the barbaric act that damages the environment.
Noting that the task ahead was challenging, he admonished participants that the journey to a clean Nigeria starts with each person making a personal commitment to change.