The Lagos State Government on Tuesday reassured residents that the present administration has put adequate measures in place to sustain the campaign for the Eradication of Open Defecation by 2025
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director, Public Affairs, Mr Adekunle Adeshina on Tuesday in Lagos.
The statement said that the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mr. Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen gave the commitment while speaking at the “Use the Toilet Campaign’’ held at the Mainland Local Government Secretariat.
Tajudeen who said that raising awareness was pivotal, added that there was the need to educate all communities about the health risks associated with open defecation.
Represented by a Director in the Sanitation Department, Mrs Omoyeni Balogun, Tajudeen said that Knowledge is the foundation upon which change is built, and by informing the citizens, they are empowered to make choices that would positively impact their lives.
According to him, open defecation is not merely a sanitation concern but a multifaceted challenge that negatively impacts the environment, health, education, economy and social fabric of any society
He stressed that the consequences of open defecation are far-reaching and profound from the spread of waterborne diseases to the contamination of the water sources, adding that the practice poses a grave threat to public health.
He explained that children were vulnerable, as they were more susceptible to these diseases due to their developing immune systems.
The PS explained that open defecation undermined the dignity of the people, especially the women and girls who often bear the brunt of its negative effects.
He said people should not dwell solely on the challenges but to focus on the solutions and the collective actions that can be taken to put an end to the menace in the State.
According to him, it is imperative that everyone approach the issue with a sense of urgency, determination, and unity.
“Lagos State having attained the Resilience City Status with the vibrant communities and growing urban centers, has made remarkable strides in its journey towards development would not allow the menace to stand as a stark contradiction to the aspirations for a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous Lagos.
“Accordingly, let us be CHANGE AGENTS who will transform Lagos State into a model of sanitation excellence, setting an example for others to follow.
“Together, let’s ‘End Open Defecation’ and create a safer, cleaner, healthier and sustainable environment in other to bequeath a more prosperous Lagos for generations to come” Tajudeen said.
He said it was time to envision a Lagos where clean and accessible sanitation facilities are available to all, water bodies remain unpolluted and the well-being of all are protected.
“Eradication of open defecation is not an option but necessity that matters to the environment,” Tajudeen said.
He noted that Infrastructure plays a critical role in eradicating open defecation and as such everyone must invest in building and maintaining adequate sanitation facilities across the state.
He charged the Urban Planners and Engineers to collaborate with the government in order to design accessible and safe facilities that would cater for the needs of all residents, regardless of their background and socio-economic status.
The statement quoted the representative of the Chairman and Vice Chairman, Mainland Local Government, Hon. Emilagba jubril as saying that the flag-off became necessary because there are many rural areas in the axis- Otumara, Idi-Agbon, Makoko, Ori – Oke, Aiyetoro amongst others.
Jubril said that the Local Government is set to partner with the private sectors to build more toilets in the rural communities.
He added that the Local Government had built some public toilets within the community and determined to build more so as to sustain the campaign against open defecation.
By Fabian Ekeruche