The Lagos State Government has reassured residents of adequate measures 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 the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mr Gaji Tajudeen, gave the assurance while speaking at the “Use the Toilet Campaign’’ held at Mainland Local Government Secretariat.
Tajudeen said awareness creation was pivotal for the eradication of open defecation by 2025.
He 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 “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 fabrics of any society
He said the consequences of open defecation were far-reaching and profound from the spread of waterborne diseases to the contamination of water sources.
Tajudeen added 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 women and girls who often bear the brunt of its negative effects.
He urged residents not to dwell solely on the challenges, but to focus on solutions and 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.
“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 urban planners and engineers to collaborate with 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 to educate people in the areas on ways to end open defecation.
Jubril said the local government would partner with private sectors to build more toilets in rural communities, while some public toilets had been constructed within the community and determined to build more to sustain the campaign against open defecation.