By Yisuff Abdulsalam, Osogbo
The wife of Osun state Governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola has advised house owners to ensure they construct decent toilets while building houses to prevent open defecation across the state.
Mrs Oyetola gave the admonition while addressing mammoth crowd at a campaign programme organized to sensitise residents on the hazards of open defecation at Ijebu-Ijesa, on Wednesday.
The Governor’s wife said that house owners should make construction of decent toilets as their priority while building houses in their particular areas.
She noted that many people do not have a decent toilet of their own, urging residents on the need to desist from defecating in the open place in order to safeguard their health and get rid of diseases.
“Lack of toilet encourages people to defecate anywhere; any house that does not have toilet is dangerous for everyone.
“One of the dangers of open defecation is the occurrence of water born diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera. Findings reveal that diarrhea and other problems associated with open defecation affect children under the age 5 years the most. This is in addition to the possible problem of malnutrition in children.
Osun first lady expressed happiness that one of the very serious development challenges facing Osun state is being tackled, saying ” We need to make our state one of the reference state in terms of quality water , sanitation and hygiene delivery culture “.
She said open defecation is a major challenge which is borne out of an age-long practice of the people. “It is the practice of defecating in the open places such as fields, back of the houses, and every open place other than in toilets.”
Osun first lady said that clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene services transform lives and improve livelihoods.
She said that sensitising people, landlords and landladies, and various schools on the importance of decent toilets, sanitation and hygiene would improve the lives of people across the state.
She noted that open defecation carries grave health consequences for all of us as it serves as a destroyer of our health and pollutant of our environment.
“This is apart from the fact that the diseases occurring from the practice could enhance sexual and other violence against our women and our girls especially when they have to go out in the dark to defecate in open places.”
She urged relevant stakeholders to improve on effective sensitisation on the importance of building decent toilets at homes and the need to maintain them.
“Ensuring available and sustainable management of water and sanitation will go a long way to achieve Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s bid to ensure environmental sanitation and hygiene.
“This task is for everyone, we should join hands to make sure we achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation.
“As well as paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations,” she said.
She appreciated governor Oyetola for his support and dedication in ensuring that the state is free from the practice of open defecation just as she acknowledged the efforts of RUWESA and Timsed organisation toward achieving the success of the campaign.
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