THE Media Action for Health, Environment and Sustainable Development (MAHESD), has called on the general public to ensure proper sanitation of their environment to help avert avoidable spread of severe diseases that could claim the lives of innocent people.
This was contained in a press statement, signed by the Programme Officer of MAHESD, Mr. Joel K. Gomiyar, and made available to THE NIGERIA STANDARD in Jos, the Plateau State capital Monday on the occasion marking the World Toilet Day.
The Programme Officer said, “the World Toilet Organisation in 2001, founded by philanthropist in Singapore, Jack Sim, declared every November 19 as World Toilet Day and it was consciously chosen instead of Sanitation for Better Public Approach, Relevance and Easier Public Messaging.
“The NGO pushed for public recognition and acknowledgement of World Toilet Day and in 2007, the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance started actively supporting World Toilet Day and it became a phenomenon in 2010 when the United Nations declared human right to water and sanitation as a basic human right.
“However, this special day is observed every year to create conversations related to good sanitation and hygiene to see how we all can do our bit in improving in achieving an Open Defecation Free society that can help reduce maternal mortality rate and avoidable outbreaks”, he stated.
Stressing on the this year’s theme: “Accelerating Change”, Gomiyar, added that, “We wish to encourage the general public to ensure that they keep their toilets and environment clean because several severe diseases can spread due to poor hygiene and poor sanitation. People should raise awareness on it to others and also try to explore options to make sanitation accessible to all.
“Over the years, Open Defection (OD) and Bad Hygiene (BH) have been the major causes that have led to severe cases of illnesses in our neighbourhood. It is on this basis that the World Toilet Organisation tagged this year theme as: “Accelerating Change.”
“It is quite unfortunate that in rural areas, open defecation and the absence of proper sanitation facilities are still the order of day. Therefore, we join the rest of the world in observing World Toilet Day to address the need to have proper access to toilets, good water, sanitation and hygiene in communities”, he enthused.
The Programme Officer expressed sadness that poor access to proper toilet facilities and good water supply affect the standard of living in our society, hence the need for MAHESD to join the rest of the world to create more awareness on the significance of this day.
He added that sanitation, good hygiene and access to clean toilets and water are basic human rights needs and it was on this basis that MAHESD observes the World Toilet Day yearly, because they believe that health is wealth in every society.
“Therefore, MAHESD, in collaboration with Plateau State Environmental Protection and Sanitation Agency (PEPSA), is bringing people together to create awareness on the importance of sanitation to good health in our society”, Gomiyar highlighted.