47 million Nigerians practice open defecation (UNICEF). An estimated 108 million Nigerians still lack access to toilet facilities (United Nations).
It is on this premise, that the Ogun State Ministry of Environment led by their permanent secretary began the house to house enforcement of toilet construction in houses across the State. This intiative is called Ogun Public hygiene.
Great move towards community engagement by the State Government I must say. However, there is a big gap…The gap of collaboration among stakeholders.
Imagine if the Ogun state Ministry of environment, Ministry of health, and Ministry of women affairs and wealth creation collaborated on this initiative?
The Ministry of health would come in to educate the masses about safe toilet use while identifying the community assets;
The Ministry of environment would work through its environmental officers to ensure grassroots proper disposal of wastes, design of cost effective toilets, and enforcement of toilet construction in households;
The Ministry of community development and wealth creation would work with locals to recycle disposed wastes to fertilizers and other useful products.
Collaboration means result driven sustainable solutions to real needs.