National Sanitation Day: FG Makes Case For Functional Sanitary Facilities, Services

By Miriam Humbe

Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf has said that the provision of safe functional sanitary facilities and services in every premises for the management of waste materials (hazardous & non-hazardous) was necessary for sustainable waste management.

The Perm Sec said this on Thursday at the press briefing to mark the 2023 National Environment Sanitation Day

He said this will go a long way in ensuring high level of behavioural change with respect to SDG 3, 6, and 7 on good health and well-being, access to clean water and sanitation as well as safe management of sanitation.

The National Environmental Sanitation Day is marked every year on 28th June.

The 2023 event was shifted to Thursday 13th July, 2023 due to collusion with the sallah holiday which fell on the same 28th June, 2023.

This year’s National Environmental Sanitation Day was themed: “Promoting Sustainable Waste Management for a Healthy Environment: Stop Open Dumping”.

The Perm Sec said this was is apt and timely, as it underscored the necessity for sound structures to be put in place for containment, collection, treatment, reuse/recycle and final disposal of all waste types (Solid, liquid & gaseous) thereby ensuring proper waste management and ending open dumping.

It was gathered that the National Environmental Sanitation Day Commemoration was established to institutionalize the sound environmental sanitation practice as a lifestyle amongst the populace through massive awareness creation and reward for innovative best practices in environmental sanitation.

The Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with key stakeholders had been celebrating the NESD since its declaration by then President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005 till date, helping to promote behavioural change in sanitation and hygiene practices among the citizenry.

This year’s theme entailed the need for everyone everywhere including but not limited to households, business premises, schools etc to have sanitary facilities/services which are functional and cost-effective to ensure the protection of our eco-system, aesthetic value of the environment and natural resources

It will also:

Ø Prevent odour nuisance and further transmission of sanitary related disease.

Ø Promote public health and improve the quality of lives of the populace thereby reducing poverty through environmental sustainability.

Ø Prevent pollution of water bodies, air and land for a sustainable eco-system Improve resource recovery, reuse and recycling thereby promoting circular economy in waste management.

Ø Prevent blockage of drainages, water pathways and flooding of the communities.

Alhaji Yusuf said there is no doubt that several efforts have been made by the Ministry, stakeholders and development partners to provide sanitary facilities and services in some part of the country.

He said: “However, it is yet to be translated into desired improved health indices expressed in the persistent increase in child and infant mortality rate due to sanitation & hygiene related diseases.

“There cannot be a better time to improve on sustainable waste management for healthy environment than now.

“In this regard, the Ministry with stakeholders has outlined the following activities to commemorate the 2023 NESD:

“Flag off of community sanitation and sensitization in Kuchigoro Community, off Airport Road Abuja on Saturday 8th July, 2023.

“National Environmental Sanitation Day commemoration on Thursday 13th July, 2023 at Barcelona Hotel, Wuse 2 Abuja.

“Post-commemoration activities: Community Sanitation and Sensitization activities in some selected communities across the country.

“These activities are also expected to be adopted and implemented by the 36 States of the federation to commemorate the 2023 National Environmental Sanitation Day.

“In view of the above, therefore enlist all Nigerians fully participate in this programme and create more awareness on environmental Sanitation and good hygiene practices.”

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