As part of the effort of the Lagos State Government in ensuring safety, hygiene and environmental sanitation across the State, the Lagos State Government has reiterated the need for continuous sensitization programme against Open defecation and Poor Water Hygiene Practices in Rural Communities.
This warning came at the just concluded two-day Sensitization Programme at Aleke Community in Ikorodu North and Igbodu Community in Ikosi Ejirin, Epe, with the theme; Water Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion through Community Led Total Sanitation and Hygiene Practices in Rural Communities of Lagos State which was targeted to totally eradicate poor hygiene practices and improve water sanitation.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Mrs Kikelomo Bolarinwa, represented by the Director, Technical Services Engr. Abiodun Donkuwo said that the programme approved by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was aimed at creating more awareness on the danger of Open Defecation and Poor Water Sanitation as well as Hygiene Promotion at the grassroots across the State.
According to her “the programme is to educate and re-educate all residents on how to achieve Safe Drinking Water, Practice Proper Personal Hygiene and Shun the Practice of Open Defecation in their communities”.
She explained that the sensitization programme was a preventive measure put in place by this present administration. The programme which was earlier held in Badagry and now in Ikorodu and Epe would spread to other rural communities in the State to prevent the spread of germs and infectious diseases that could cause physical, emotional, mental and financial stress to the residents of the state.
Mrs. Bolarinwa added that the State Government was more concerned about eradication of open defecation because of its devastating consequences for public health as faecal contamination of the environment and poor hygiene practices, which remains a leading cause of child mortality, morbidity, under nutrition and stunting, and could have negative effects on cognitive development.
She therefore admonished the participants to spread the message to always use the toilets to all the homes, to totally eradicate the practice of open defecation.
Facilitators at the programme took turns to educate the participants through the proper way of Hand Washing and Proper Personal Hygiene Practices as well as how to treat their water properly.
Mrs. Sanni Anibire in her presentation, explained that maintaining Personal Hygiene such as cleaning of the body every day, washing of hands with soap after going to the toilet, brushing the teeth twice a day, covering the mouth and nose with a tissue (or your sleeve) when sneezing or coughing and washing the hands after handling pets and other animals should be taken as good precautions to protect ourselves from getting gastro or infectious diseases such as COVID-19, colds and flu including the spread of diseases to other people.
Similarly, Mr Bello Hakeem spoke on the proper disposal of sachet and plastic bottles after consuming the water in them to avoid blockage of the drains and water ways that could cause flooding during rainfall that could later result in the destruction of properties and loss of life.
The highlight of the sensitization programme was the house to house inspection by the Water Sanitation and Hygiene team led by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs to inspect water usage by the community and the availability of toilets in the community.