In commemoration of the 2019 World Toilet Day and as part of efforts towards achieving the national target of ending open defecation in the country by 2025, the Nigerian government, in partnership with Harpic has launched the 'Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet' campaign.
The 2019 WTD, tagged 'Toilets for All -Leaving no One Behind', is in line with current global efforts towards achieving universal access to sanitation, whereby toilets are available for all and open defecation is reduced.
Speaking at a sensitization walk within Abuja to mark the day, the Minister of Water Resources, Sulaimon Adamu while appreciating the stakeholders for their support said, the campaign was aimed at mobilizing high level support and resources towards building a new culture of safe defecation.
He said: "Nigeria lags behind other nations in terms of proper hygiene with about 47 million citizens without direct access to toilets. According to the statistics by World Health Organisation (WHO), today, over 100,000 children die every year through poor sanitation and unsafe water caused by diarrhea," he said.
The minister therefore said the "Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet" campaign was aimed towards advancing the populace towards a new culture of safe defecation in the country.
Speaking on the role and support of the private sector towards ending open defecation in Nigeria, the General Manager, RB Hygiene & Home West Africa West Africa, Mr. Asif Hashimi relayed that the provision of needed basic amenities is crucial in supporting the federal government's plans towards ending open defecation.
According to him, "There is a need to construct public toilets and support public awareness campaigns towards behavioral change, so that people start rejecting open defecation as a norm."
Emphasizing on the commitment of Harpic towards the cause, the marketing director said, "Harpic, one of RB's most notable brands has consistently put on its front burner the importance of having access to clean toilets.
"The aim of today's campaign launch and the World Toilet Day commemoration is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don't have access to safe toilets, despite the fact that it is a human right to have access to clean water and sanitation. Toilets save lives, because human waste spreads killer diseases." He stressed.