In line with its vision for a healthy Nigeria and to commemorate the 2017 World Toilet Day, toilet-cleaning brand of Reckitt Benckiser, RB, Harpic, has joined force with the Lagos State Ministry of Environment to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable sanitation to achieve sound health and economic growth. This initiative followed the recent report from the World Health Organisation, WHO, which states that approximately 315,000 children die every year as a result of poor sanitation and unsafe water caused by diarrhoea
Another report from the World Toilet Organisation further revealed that 40% of the world’s population lacked access to toilet despite the fact that a clean and safe toilet plays a major role in human dignity and well-being.
The partnership thus arose on the need to draw attention to the link between a clean toilet and wellness as well as economic growth especially as the silence surrounding sanitation crisis is beginning to break as evidenced by the Sustainable Development Goal’s inclusion of sanitation on its global development agenda which calls for universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and an end to open defecation by 2030.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s World Toilet Day, “WasteWater”, at the sensitisation programme in Lagos, Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, Mr Abiodun Bamgboye, noted that waste water management which is a potentially affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials is usually undervalued and neglected in this clime.
Bamgboye said, “This is why we constantly educate the sewage management authorities on proper disposal and recycling of wastewater which should be seen as a resource and not a burden.
“There are many treatment processes and operational systems that will allow us to use wastewater to meet the growing water demand in growing cities, support sustainable agriculture, and enhance energy production and industrial development, thus contributing to a more sustainable, efficient and equitable water use worldwide. Today, Harpic, our regular partner is joining force with us in providing public awareness to the community. The ministry of environment welcomes such corporate support and would encourage other brands to follow suit.”
Also addressing the mammoth crowd at the Ojodu Berger park, Managing Director of RB, Mr. Rahul Murgai, explained that women and children were more exposed to the risk of contracting infections caused by poor sanitation which impacts on health, dignity, and safety. This explains why the organisation has taken on the challenge of creating awareness and educating Nigerians on the importance of hygienics.
He added: “Globally, over 80% of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused, thus, polluting the environment, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. As such, quite a large number of people consume water that is already contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid polio and other diseases.
While harping on cleanliness, Murgai also called for adequate attention to solid waste, wastewater and also industrial accumulated waste management to help avoid chain of diseases.