The Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) has called on the public to join hands in the sensitisation and participation of all to ensure proper hygiene.
Dr Dominic Abonyi, the Registrar of the Council on Friday, November 16, 2018 in Abuja made the call during the inspection of some Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) within the FCT to mark the 2018 World Toilet Day with the theme: “When Nature Calls”.
The officers in the course of the inspection visited Force Headquarters, Head of Service, Ministry of Environment, Jabi Motor Park, Utako market, Dei Dei community amongst others.
“Our prayer is for everybody to join hands in the enlightenment and sensitisation programme of the ministry to keep the Nigerian environment safe.
“We visited some important places – the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is number one office of the civil servants and I think that what we saw is not far from what we want it to be.
“This is the primary reason why we started from these places so that we can take a cue from their standards.
“We want all of you who joined this visit to also join us in saying what you have seen.’’
He said that in Nigeria there were places that have standards, adding that these standards should go around the entire country.
“What should be done is what President Muhammadu Buhari has done, declaring a state of emergency on sanitation.
“You will notice that when you are talking about water sanitation and hygiene, it has more than one ministry or agency that has the mandate.
“So, while you are talking about water and efforts being made to make sure that Nigeria has water in abundance and water that is portable, environment will be talking about safe environment because a single access of sewage from faecal matter that enters the water will rubbish efforts at water resources management.
“It is therefore everybody’s business.
“If we have good water and we go to toilet and don’t wash our hands, then it means that we are trying to poison ourselves, so another group will be seriously addressing hygiene education.
“You see, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Water Resources and indeed other public utilities must join hands because sanitation is not one man’s business. It is the business of everybody”.
Mr Leon Aliboh, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, corroborated Abonyi’s views.
“I believe you have seen for yourself how our toilet facilities are in most of the offices visited.
“I will leave it for you to judge; you are our judges in this case, and our officers will make the report, and where we noticed some challenges we communicate to those offices to effect the changes where necessary”.
When asked about sanctioning the offices with low standard toilets he said the officers went around today as teachers to sensitise the public.
“Well, you know as a teacher, when you are trying to teach, you are trying to sensitise people now, then later we will introduce sanctions but now we want to at least enlighten people, sensitise them that there’s need to keep our toilets very clean.
“After our reports we will be able to tell defaulters these are their setbacks and challenges to make sure they rectify them before we come again.”
NAN reports that only the senior civil servant toilets were clean while the junior servants’ toilets were a far cry from acceptable.
By Ebere Agozie