ANEEJ Statement on World Toilet Day
BENIN CITY——-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 reduces the 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 has advised that the type of food and our consumption patterns must be structured in such a way that balance diet is the priority of household and not the quantity of food. And that nutrition coupled with personal hygiene and good environmental practice is important in protecting human health and the environment.
ANEEJ recently celebrated the Global Handwashing Day event in schools in Edo State with a focus on the importance and basic technique on handwashing with soap and clean water. Reasons being that handwashing 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, handwashing with soap before eating, after 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 5 years 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 to resuscitate the public water plant and river basins in Nigeria to begin to operate 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.
ABOUT ANEEJ: We seek to contribute to the emergence of a just and equitable African society through socio-economic and environmental rights protection, institutional strengthening and people’s empowerment.
For more information please contact:
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ
39 Oyaide Street,
Off Benoni, GRA,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com www.aneej.org
Skype: bob majirioghene etemiku.