The Environmental Health Science Students Association of the Kwara State University has donated a 2-room public toilet to the University’s host community, Malete.
This act according to the President of the Association, Mr. KayodeOgunyemi, was in commemoration of the World Environmental Health Day.
Ogunyemi said the facility would go a long way in promoting the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) by reducing and possibly eradicating indiscriminate open defecation in the community.
Mrs. OluwatoyinBassagi of the School of Allied Health and Environmental Science,KWASU, in her presentation, defined CLTS as a community-wide behavioural change approach that mobilises communities to undertake their own appraisal and analysis of sanitation issues and take their own actions to become Open Defecation Free (ODF).
``CLTS has been recognised by the United Nations as one of the most effective approaches to promoting sanitation and achieving the MDGs for sanitation.
Bassagi explained that it is very important to adopt the use of toilets in our rural communities because it reduces to the minimal the risks that come with open defecation.
``When a community is ODF, it produces healthier people, low mortality rate, high quality of life, higher savings and less spending on diseases, dignity for women, gender equality, low cases of rape and snake or scorpion bites and a healthier environment in totality’’, she stated.
For the Dean of the School, Dr. Henry Sawyerr, the act is in line with the slogan of the University, ‘The University for Community Development’.
He said the CLTS initiative commenced in 2013 and the School had so far been able to penetrate 61 rural communities in Kwara, Abuja, Niger, Kogi, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kebbi, Edo, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo; hoping that in the next few years an enormous percentage of the rural communities would have been penetrated in Nigeria.
While also hoping that by 2017, the Association would be able to donate or facilitate more public toilets in adjoining communities, he enjoined the new students of the School to be focused on what their profession as Environmental Health Scientists entailed.
The Mogaji, Malete, Alhaji Raimi Adisa, while receiving the toilet on behalf of the community, said the community was very grateful to the Association for showing such unquantifiable gesture and also promised effective usage of the toilet.