Toilet Brand, Harpic, has restated its commitment to economic development in Nigeria as it urged Nigerians to embrace hygienic defecation practice.
The company stated that the unhygienic habit of open defecation was very common in this clime and had continued to threaten public health safety and economy growth Open defecation refers to the practice whereby people go out into fields, bushes, forests, open bodies of water, or other open spaces, rather than using the toilet, to defecate. According to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), about 46 million people in Nigeria defecate in the open, with 56 million people estimated to be added to this open defecation crisis during the next 10 years.
Speaking at an occasion organised by the company in partnership with Lagos State Ministry of Environment, to mark the 2018 World Toilet Day, General Manager of Reckitt Benckiser (RB) West Africa, Dayanand Sriram emphasised the company’s interest in the nation’s overall development,hence its continuous investment in sanitation infrastructure and services. He said: “At RB, we are aware of the need to change the defecation narratives in Nigeria. That is why we have partnered with the Lagos Ministry of Environment, to revamp public toilets in Lagos. Last year August, we revamped 25 public toilet units in Ojota, Oshodi, Costain and Alausa communities in Lagos to reduce the alarming statistics of open defecation, this is one of the ways we intend to lift the economy of Lagos and Nigeria at large. Reflecting on the theme of the day, ‘When Nature Calls’ , Leferink said: “We believe that when nature calls, people should remember to use clean toilets, because passing faeces in open places can cause health challenges for us and for others.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Babatunde Durosinmi–Etti commended the firm on her effort to challenge the scourge , with a promise that the state government would work out modalities to solidify its relationship with RB get to the root of open defecation in the state.
He also urged corporate organisations to emulate RB initiative while calling on Lagos residents to desist from open defecation practice.