“ Unwholesome sanitary habit of open defecation can be extremely inimical to Lagos citizenry as it poses threat to health, wreaks havoc on the environment, leads to epidemic outbreaks and gives room for perilous diseases to thrive.”
Those were the words of Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Babatunde Adejare during the commemoration of World Toilet Day in Lagos. He said it is imperative for residents to foster a clean and hygienic ecosystem in order to combat the attendant effects of unsafe defecation. He said the high rate of unguided human activities and entropic interaction between man and the environment further increases vulnerability of the state to various forms of environmental degradation.
“It is worthy to note that proliferation of such environmental sanitation related diseases increase poverty in households and the economy as a whole, diminishing productivity as a result of increased Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY). In addition to loss of national and state productivity, the dirty, unhygienic and unsanitary environment created as a result of open defecation and urination reduces the aesthetic of the environment thus discouraging tourists and foreign investors,” he said.READ ALSO – Nigeria Loses N455bn Annually To Poor Sanitation – FG
He further reiterated that poor sanitation and hygiene are linked to stunting and wasting otherwise described as low weight for height which causes irreversible physical and cognitive impairment. “Defecating openly means diseases like diarrhoea and intestinal worms can quickly spread. According to the World Health organisation (WHO), roughly 50 per cent of all malnutrition cases are associated with repeated diarrhoea or intestinal worm infections as a direct result of inadequate water sanitation and hygiene.
“Improving sanitation can play a big role in the nutritional status of women and children. By safely separating faeces from human contact and the environment, women and children are more protected from disease and malnutrition; children can realize their full potential and women and their babies can live healthier,” he said.