Wife of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, says the South-West Nigerian state generates 2.2 million cubic meters of untreated domestic wastewater daily.
She made this claim in Victoria Island, Lagos, at a Three-Day Workshop on Regulating Urban Sanitation Services: Faecal Sludge/Waste Management Guidelines and Standards.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the 2.2 million kilolitres of untreated domestic wastewater generated daily was based on the 120 litres of water used per person per day.
She said that with a population of over 20 million and annual growth of 2.9 per cent, sanitation management was currently a challenge in Lagos State.
She posited that the dire situation on ground calls for all hands to be on deck, to ensure effective and efficient regulation of faecal sludge management.
She said that this would help to safeguard the environment and protecting water resources of the state and mitigating events of waterborne diseases.
”As a Medical Doctor, I am conscious of the fact that all waterborne diseases are deadly.
“Experts have also established that there is an unbreakable relationship between health and the environment. They are both intertwined!
”As a matter of fact, the negative impact of inadequate and improper regulation of faecal sludge management on the health of people in general and children, in particular, is crystal clear and well known.
”Diarrhea, for instance, is the second largest killer of children below five years in Nigeria, only next to Pneumonia.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WH0), 88 per cent of diarrhea cases are attributable to factors essentially originating from poor management of excreta disposal,” Sanwo-Olu said.
She said that, without effective regulation, the dreams of having a livable, healthy, safe, and secure environment would continue to be a mirage.
The Lagos Governor’s wife said that there must be a structured and sustainable arrangement in place to regulate and properly manage the faecal sludge value chain, starting from the collection, transportation, treatment and disposal, which in turn would yield both economic and environmental benefits to the state.
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Omobolaji Gaji, said that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration accords sanitation a high priority.
Gaji said that it was a known fact that six in 10 people lacked access to safely managed sanitation services and that nearly 1,000 children died due to preventable water and sanitation related diseases.
He called on stakeholders to support and come up with a far-reaching solution that would reduce the health bills of Lagos citizenry, due to waterborne and sanitation related diseases.
Giving her welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO) Mrs. Funke Adepoju, explained that the workshop was organised by LASWARCO in partnership with the Faecal Sludge Management Alliance (FSMA) to tap from local and international expertise and best practices for effective faecal sludge management.
Adepoju said that the workshop was a necessary beginning, needed for long term sanitation transition, to improve effectiveness of sanitation transition and ensure regulatory systems for public health.
There was, according to her, need for stakeholders to key into the policy guidelines that would galvanise and up-skill critical sector players in the state in sustainably managing faecal sludge.
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