The Federal Government has commenced a process to address growing concern of poor environmental health and sanitation in the country.
Minister of Environment Dr Mohammed Mahmoud Abubakar, speaking yesterday in Abuja at the sanitation pre-summit dialogue with the theme, ‘Environmental Health and Sanitation Issues and Challenges in the Country and the Way Forward’, said it has become necessary to enhance the sanitation standard of the country as it will uplift the living condition and health security of the people.
He said Nigeria has been facing serious environmental and sanitation challenges with many cities having the waste management problems, deplorable sanitary conditions in markets and inadequate housing facilities.
The minister, who was represented by the Director of Pollution, Charles Ikeah, said the dialogue aimed at developing baseline information on environmental health and sanitation, build capacity of sanitation desk officers and develop and adopt a generic system and tools of reporting environmental health and sanitation activities and data from the local and state governments.
Speaking, the Registrar of Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), Dr Dominic Abonyi, said the current challenge on lack of consolidated data on environmental health and other environmental challenges in Nigeria called for a rethink.
He said the dialogue is “so we can think inwardly and find ways of sharing information on what we are doing to improve standard and measure our practice outcome.”
Dr Adonyi also said the burden of communicable diseases has continued to pose serious challenge to Nigeria’s public health system.
While noting that availability and access to central data on sanitation events in the country left much to be desired, he said, the increasing population contends with high morbidity and mortality, frequent outbreaks of poor environmental sanitation issues, preventable diseases like cholera, Lassa fever, measles and cerebrospinal meningitis among others.