From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
The Kwara State Government has secured a donation of 1,000 public flush toilets from private sector stakeholders towards putting an end to the practice of open defecation in the State by 2025.
State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq announced this on Tuesday in Ilorin while declaring open a public lecture to mark the 2020 World Toilet Day.
Abdulrazaq, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rasaq Raji, said that the gesture of the stakeholders working to end open defecation would support the effort of the State to end the practice soon.
He asserted that his administration has demonstrated a total commitment to this course with the completion and inauguration of some prototyped integrated modern public toilets in 2019.
This, he said, would be spread across all Local Government Areas in the State in an effort to uphold good hygiene in the State.
‘This event again affords us the opportunity of reviewing our journey on sanitation with a view to strengthening our campaign on global effort to end open defecation by 2025.
‘Kwara cannot afford to be left behind in this noble course. This administration has demonstrated a total commitment to this goal by completing and commissioning some prototype of integrated modern public toilets in 2019.
‘We plan to spread this gesture across the local government areas of the state. I am glad to announce that our efforts have paid off as private sector stakeholders working to end open defecation are to build 1000 public flush toilets in Kwara to support what we are doing.
‘We are indeed very grateful to them while pledging to step up our effort to end open defecation in our state and uphold good hygiene.
‘We appeal to the good and rich people of Kwara, private business communities and other corporate organisations operating in the state to also donate public toilet facilities to our community,’ said the Governor.
Speaking at the event, the State Commissioner for Environment, Mrs Julianah Oyedun, said that the day was marked in arrears of the November 19 declared by the United Nations as an indication of the significance attached to the provision of the good sanitary toilet in the State.
Oyedun commended the State Governor for his stride in addressing the challenge of open defecation practice in the State, saying: ‘All hands must be on deck towards constructing more integrated modern public toilet in strategic locations in Ilorin metropolis and other senatorial districts in the State.’
The Commissioner urged the public to see the provision of good, standard sanitary and hygienic toilet facilities as a task that must be accomplished by all households even before the 2025 deadline set by the United Nations.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Kola Ojo, said that the world would continue to struggle with challenges of open defecation particularly in the poverty-ridden, underdeveloped parts until human waste disposal mechanisms that are affordable, accessible, available, simple and adaptable to all categories of human were devised.
He urged the United Nations to go beyond slogans and embark on massive constructions of simple and easy to maintain public toilets wherever man is found as a matter of emergency.
Stakeholders at the event, in their remarks, pledged their support for government’s efforts at putting an end to the ugly practice with an appeal on the government to engage more environmental professionals to make the job easier.