By Kingsley Adegboye
Disturbed by the men-ace of open defecation in the country, environment stakeholders last week in Lagos inaugurated National Mirror Committee on Sustainable Non-sewered Sanitation System known as ISO/PC 305 and Community Scale Resource-oriented Sanitation Treatment System known as ISO/PC318, to provide a standard solution to the issue of a sustainable and affordable sanitation that will alleviate the problem of open defecation in Nigeria.
ISO/PC 305 was established at the Technical Management Board, TMB, resolution in May 2016, while ISO/ PC 318 Community Scale Resource- oriented Sanitation Treatment System has just been formed.
In his welcome address at the event organised by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, the Director-General, Osita Aboloma, represented by Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, Director of Standards, SON, noted that the newly inaugurated committee which is expected to bring together international experts, will build on the information and expertise gathered to develop 1WA 28, a major step to help realise the potential of such technology and ultimately save lives.
According to Aboloma, the ISO Technical Committee has as its scope of standardisation in the field of sanitation systems for organisations of all sizes and types, groups, networks, cities, countries and regions.
He added that the purpose of the standardisation work is to enable the development of standards along the sanitation system designed to address basic sanitation needs and promote economic, social and environmental sustainability through strategies that may include minimizing resource consumption and converting human waste to safe output and a Standard on faecal sludge treatment units such as energy independent, prefabricated community scale resource recovery units.
“Today’s meeting is meant to achieve two important things; inauguration of the national mirror committee which will mirror the activities of these two ISO technical committees and to establish Nigeria’s position in the ISO draft Standards on Sanitation systems and services through a consensus of your input.
“The established position will be further harmonised with other inputs from the rest of NSBs at the ISO Central Secretariat. The final draft Standards elaborated will be further circulated for comments and final voting to establish the Standards.
“Your esteemed contributions are required to ensure that the Standards reflect Nigeria’s position to facilitate its adoption as a National Standard to provide the necessary confidence for engagements. The benefits of participation and adoption of these international Standards will among other things, provide a basis for confidence, transparency and continuity in businesses.
“It will also provide global best practices in the environmental sector; promote international trade through removal of technical barrier to trade, TBT, as well as ensure sustainable economic and environmental development. I hereby declare this Committee with dual functions, as a National Mirror Committee and Technical Committee on Sustainable non- sewered sanitation system and Community scale resource- oriented sanitation treatment systems.
“As a Mirror Committee, you will be responsible for establishing Nigeria’s position on issues relating to the activities of the ISO PC 305 and ISO PC 318, while as Technical Committee, you will be responsible for adopting the ISO PC 305 and ISO PC 318 Standards as National Standards.
The chairman of the committee, Mrs. Iyabo Philips, a director in the Department of Environmental Services, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, in her acceptance speech said with this project in place, most cases of water-borne diseases will be reduced. She promised to involve all members of the committee in the process of making ISO/PC 305 sustainable.