By solo Ani
OBIARUKU/Nigeria: Residents of rural communities in Ukwuani local government area of Delta State have been urged to defecate far away from their homes and prioritize their hygiene while keeping their houses and environment clean at all times in order to stay healthy.
This charge was given by the students of Environmental Health Science Department (CEERMS), (Centre for Ecological, Environmental Research Management and Studies) from the prestigious Kwara State University, Illorin, (KWASU) during their Community-Led Total Sanitation at Eziokpor-unor.
According to one of the students, Mr. Opia Onyema in his introductory address, he expressed the gratitude of the CLTS group to community for their warm welcome and co-operation. The group were later taken out on ‘Walk of Shame’ round the community to see and know the places they use for toilet.
Speaking in pidgin English he said, “We dey go out for the ‘Walk of Shame’ so that we go know where the people for the settlement dey shit,” they said.
Mr Opia told the community that they should stop their children from defecating openly and close to their dwellings. He stressed the need for them to get a 21st Century type of toilet or something close so as to prevent diseases and sicknesses related to open defecation. He also illustrated the adverse effect of open defecation on households with what he called ‘F-DIAGRAM’ to the dwellers in the settlement.
“We dey indirectly dey eat shit wen we shit close to the places wen we dey stay; because flies go perch on the shit finish then e go come perch for our foods that one mean say the flies don carry shit put for our foods; if we go shit sometimes shit dey touch our hand and we nor go wash our hand before we use our hands dey eat something, that way we don eat shit with style be that,” he stated.
He therefore encouraged the community to stop open defecation and always wash their hands appropriately as demonstrated by Okpalefe J. Afokeoghene who also did ‘Shit and Water’ experiment to the people.
Also, Miss Afokeoghene one of the group members on her part while calculating the expenses resulting from open defecation noted that households in Eziokpor-unor spend approximately #2.8 million on the treatment of sicknesses yearly.
They told the people that most of these sicknesses can be prevented by keeping the environment clean and washing of hands.
According to her, typhoid, cholera and other related sicknesses are primarily caused by open defecation and unhygienic behaviours.
Responding, Mr Ezute thanked the group for coming to educate the community and assured them that the community will turn a new leave and build a water system convenience.
Mrs Agholor Onyinye, another group member set up a committee in the community to construct the water system toilet. She encouraged the residents of Eziokpor-unor to take the project seriously and always keep their environment clean, always wash their hands and cultivate hygienic behaviour.