ANEEJ Marks World Toilet Day | Independent Newspapers Limited
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ANEEJ Marks World Toilet Day

Posted: Nov 20, 2015 at 6:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) joins the rest of the world to observe this year’s World Toilet Day which focuses on toilets and nutrition.

The simple act of separating feces (human or animal) from human contact and the environment has a way of improving the nutritional status of man and also reduces diarrhea and other diseases which means better health especially for women and children. This also reducesthe risk of stunting among children.

Let’s not forget that stunting has a negative mental impact on children and this hinders them from achieving their full potentials. It should be noted that child growth can only improve after communities reduce and eradicate open defecation.

ANEEJ Programme Officer, Sandra Eguagie, hasadvised that the type of food and our consumption patternsmust be structured in such a way that balance diet is the priority of household and not the quantity of food. And thatnutrition coupled with personal hygiene and good environmental practice is important in protecting human health and the environment.

ANEEJ recently celebrated the Global Hand washing Day event in schools in Edo State with a focus on theimportance and basic technique on hand-washing with soap and clean water. Reason being that hand-washing with soap is the most effective and cheapest way of preventing diarrhea and acute respiratory infections especially among children under age five. Pneumonia is the number one cause of death among children under five years while diarrhea is the second. According to UNICEF, hand-washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet and at other critical times can go a long way to save more lives than any single vaccine or medical interventions.

ANEEJ calls on Nigerians especially mothers with children under 5years to maintain good toilet hygiene, clean drinking water points in the home, good consumption pattern and practice proper environmental sanitation. There must be conscious effort to block the possible channels of excreta from water, food and the environment. Hand washing after the use of toilet and in other critical times must be encouraged in the home as an habit. Also our meals must be covered to avoid crawling and flying insects which are the vectors that transfer germs from toilet and exposed excreta to the uncovered food and drinking water. This results in typhoid, diarrhea, cholera and other diseases.

ANEEJ therefore makes an urgent call to government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders toresuscitate the public water plant and river basins in Nigeria to begin tooperate maximally. Non-governmental water stakeholders should also collaborate with government in reviving this sector to ensure sufficient water for all in ensuring sustainable sanitation in the country.