One of the students at GSS lugbe displaying a proper hand washing method

By: Prudence Okonna

In other to improve the sanitary conditions of communities and emphasize the importance of proper toilet hygiene in the FCT, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has taken toilet hygiene sensitization to different schools across the Territory.

The sensitization campaign was done in FCT schools in commemoration of World Toilet Day marked annually on November 19.

According to the desk officer, Water and Sanitation Health (WASH) and Coordinator of the programme, Public Health Department, Olayinka Edengulu, World Toilet Day 2022 is focused on the fact that proper sanitation protects groundwater from human waste pollution.

Edengulu emphasized that the impact of poor sanitation on groundwater cannot be overemphasized as inadequate toilet systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, thereby, polluting underground water sources.

The WASH expert said the pollution problem seems invisible because it happens underground and occurs more in rural areas where there is inadequate sanitation.

He said by visiting the various schools across FCT and sensitizing students on the importance of maintaining toilet hygiene, they are working in line with Sustainable Development Goal which calls for improved clean water and sanitation.

The campaign also urges government to work four times faster to ensure SDG 6.2, which emphasizes safe toilets for all by 2030.

Some of the schools visited include, Government Secondary School, Nyanya; Government Secondary, Jikwoyi; and Government Secondary School Lugbe.

Edengulu further called on students and residents alike to avoid open defecation, which often leads to contamination of ground water by having a proper building plan for toilet areas in homes especially toilets built apart from houses in rural areas.

He revealed that in 2017, 2 billion people worldwide did not have access to basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines and 673 million people still practice open defecation.

According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, at least 1.2 billion people worldwide are estimated to drink water that is not protected against contamination from faeces.  Hence, the effects of Groundwater contamination include poor drinking water quality, which could lead to waterborne diseases outbreak such as Cholera, he reiterated.