2023 Sanitation Day: FG warns against indiscriminate dumping of refuse

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Abuja, July 6, 2023- The Federal Government on Thursday warned Nigerians against indiscriminate dumping of refuse to avoid degrading the environment.

Alhaji Ibrahim Yusufu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, gave the warning during a press briefing to commemorate the 2023 National Environmental Sanitation Day (NESD).

According to him, dumping refuse openly will affect the ecosystem and result in avoidable disasters, as such Nigerians should embrace sanitation habits, including sustainable waste management.

The theme of 2023 NESD is, ‘Promoting Sustainable Waste Management for a Healthy Environment: Stop Open Dumping’.

According to Yusufu, the theme entails the need for individuals, households, businesses, schools and others to have sanitary facilities and services to ensure the protection of the eco-system, aesthetic value of the environment and natural resources.

”This will also prevent odour nuisance and further transmission of sanitary related disease; promote public health and improve the quality of lives of the populace, thereby reducing poverty through environmental sustainability,” he added.

The permanent secretary further said that sustainable waste management would prevent pollution of water, air and land.

He said that this would ensure sustainable eco-system, improve resource recovery, reuse and recycling, thereby promoting circular economy in waste management.

Yusufu said it would also “prevent blockage of drainages, water pathways and flooding of communities”.

The permanent secretary urged Nigerians to improve on sustainable waste management, saying this would translate to better health indices, including reduction in child and infant mortality rate, and other related diseases.

The permanent secretary said that the event would be marked with community sanitation and sensitisation at Kuchigoro in Abuja, and other  selected communities across the country.

He said that the target was to encourage the people and governments to put in place measures for containment, collection, treatment, reuse, recycle and disposal of all wastes, thereby ensuring proper waste management and ending open dumping.

“The National Environmental Sanitation Day commemoration is to institutionalise sound environmental sanitation practice as a lifestyle amongst the populace through massive awareness creation and reward for innovative best practices in environmental sanitation.

“The provision of safe functional sanitary facilities and services in every premises for the management of waste materials (hazardous & non-hazardous) is a necessity for sustainable waste management,” he added.

Yusufu said that the focus would also be on behavioural change to attain SDG three, six, and seven on good health and well-being, access to clean water and sanitation, as well as safe management of sanitation.

“These activities are also expected to be adopted and implemented by the 36 States of the federation to commemorate the 2023 National Environmental Sanitation Day.”

He urged all Nigerians to fully participate in the programme and create more awareness on environmental sanitation and good hygiene practices. (GBN)   

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