In a bid to eradicate poor hygiene practices and improve water sanitation in the State, the Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring continuous advocacy and public sensitisation in all communities in the State.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Mrs. Kikelomo Sanyaolu disclosed this during a two-day sensitisation programme organised for residents of Ajido and Gbaji Communities in Badagry Local Government Area of the State, noting that greater risks are involved in poor hygiene practices as it relates to water usage and sanitation in some homes and communities.
Sanyaolu, who was represented by the Director, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, Eng. Fadunsi Babatunde in the Ministry, explained that the programme approved by the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu is to create awareness on Water Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion at the grassroots with the objective of educating and enlightening all residents on how to achieve safe drinking water, proper personal hygiene pratice and shun the practice of open defecation in their communities.
She stated that the sensitisation programme is a preventive measure put in place by the present administration and will be extended to other rural communities in the State to prevent the spread of infectious diseases which could lead to the physical, emotional, mental and financial stress of the affected communities.
Sanyaolu, therefore, advised that, proper disposal of empty sachets of water or plastic bottles is necessary to avoid blockage of the drains and waterways to prevent flooding, which could result in the destruction of properties and sometimes loss of lives.
One of the facilitators, Mrs. Sanni Anibire in her lecture, explained that maintaining personal hygiene such as cleaning your body every day, washing your hands with soap after going to the toilet, brushing your teeth twice a day, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue (or your sleeve) when sneezing or coughing and washing your hands after handling pets and other animals is of utmost importance as it protects you from getting gastro or infectious diseases such as COVID-19, colds and flu and likewise prevent you from spreading diseases to other people.
Mr. Bello Hakeem, another facilitator at the event, spoke on the State Government’s concern on open defecation which is still prevalent in the State, stressing that open defecation has devastating consequences for public health as faecal contamination of the environment and poor hygiene practices remain a leading cause of child mortality, morbidity and undernutrition which can potentially have negative effects on the cognitive development of the Child.
The highlight of the sensitisation programme was the house-to-house inspection by the Water Sanitation and Hygiene team led by the officers from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.