LETS TALK ABOUT NUMBER 2! And I don’t mean the VP!!
OSIBAJO LAUNCHES USE THE TOILET CAMPAIGN TO END OPEN DEFECATION.
Some are looking at this story with unnecessary sentiments. They are wondering why the VP has been reduced to talking about toilets and in doing that, they totally miss the point. I am very interested in this subject and have been interested from the time I read Nigeria, my beloved country, is number 2 on the world open-defecation table. The article where I read this made the point by showing a group of young men “going” from a bridge into the canal below, not nice!!
It is annoying and embarrassing that we still don’t have toilets available everywhere to serve our growing population. In 2020, most of our population do not have access to water, making sanitation and hygiene, touch and go. So, it is interesting when you see the government of the day actually doing something about it and that the matter is considered serious enough for it to be in purview of the VPs office.
This article makes interesting reading. I didn’t know for instance, that there are LGAs which have been declared open-defecation free. Really??? Where??? I didn’t also know there was a committee set up to look at this issue. Please read the article to see how many members are in this committee, listed towards the end of the article.
What the article did not say is how man public toilets have been built in the time since 2016 when the committee was set up. That would be none, I haven’t seen any. Or what legislations are in place to ensure toilets are everywhere, again nothing. There should be laws in place that all eateries, bukas and bars must have working toilets for use by their clients before they get a licence to operate. Local health officers can ensure these facilities are there and maintained or such establishments could lose their licences. They are not too expensive to build or maintain.
Most petrol station on the highways already have toilets and have come to the rescue of many pressed travellers bursting to “go”. There is no reason why this should not be a compulsory stipulation to all petrol stations, landlords and all public event centres as part of the approval of their planning permission with hefty fines and even jail terms in place, for lack of compliance to provide and maintain.
When we acquired the premises for my business at Phoenix, it had been abandoned for some time. One of the biggest problem we had clearing the place was dealing with the wraps of “shot putt” which had been lobbed over the fence from next door. The house next to us did not have toilets and I wondered how anyone with their brain working would spend all that money building a house to let and forget to provide toilets for those who live there. The lobbing has now stopped and God knows where the tenants go to go.
LGAs and town planning people should ensure they emphasise this in approving building plans. Why should they give building permission to people who would not include toilets in the plan. LGAs should also build working, manned and well maintained public toilets in strategic locations in major cities, town and villages.
These are the sorts of things I would expect the committee should be concerning itself with. Not just sitting and paying lip service to what is a very serious issue. The commissions and allowances they earn for meeting could build a few toilets.
Have a lovely weekend, my lovely people.