According to UNICEF, more than 4.2 billion people globally live without safely managed sanitation options, while over 1 billion people still defecate in the open. In Nigeria, an estimated 47 million people practise open defecation.
In commemoration of the 2019 World Toilet Day and as part of efforts towards achieving the national target of ending open defecation in the country by 2025, Harpic, Nigeria’s No. 1 toilet cleaning brand from Reckitt Benckiser (RB), the market leader in health, hygiene and home care products, this year has partnered with Federal Government for the national launch and flag-off of the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet’ campaign, on November 19.
The 2019 World Toilet Day with the theme ‘Toilets for All’ – leaving no one behind, is in line with current global efforts towards achieving universal access to sanitation, whereby toilets are available for all. This is to help reduce open defecation whilst promoting better hygiene practices in the prevention of diseases such as diarrhoea and toilet infections, especially in women and children.
At the media briefing which was held immediately after a sensitization walk around the FCT Abuja to sensitize the residents on the need for proper toilet practices, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Sulaimon Adamu while appreciating the stakeholders for their support said, “The campaign is aimed at mobilizing high-level support and resources towards building a new culture of safe defecation.”
The minister expressed concern as Nigeria lags behind other nations in terms of proper hygiene with about 47 million citizens without direct access to toilets. He also revealed that according to the statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), today, over 100,000 children die every year through poor sanitation and unsafe water caused by diarrhoea.
In addition, a large number of women and children are exposed to a high risk of contracting infections due to lack of access to proper sanitation which impacts on health, dignity, and safety. The minister, therefore, said the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet” campaign is aimed towards advancing the populace towards a new culture of safe defecation in the country.
Speaking on the role and support of the private sector towards ending open defecation in Nigeria, the General Manager, RB Hygiene & Home West Africa, Mr. Asif Hashimi relayed that the provision of needed basic amenities is crucial in supporting the federal government’s plans towards ending open defecation.
According to him, “There is a need to construct public toilets and support public awareness campaigns towards behavioural change so that people start rejecting open defecation as a norm.”
Emphasizing on the commitment of Harpic towards the cause, the marketing director said, “Harpic, one of RB’s most notable brands has consistently put on its front burner the importance of having access to clean toilets.
“The aim of today’s campaign launch and the World Toilet Day commemoration is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don’t have access to safe toilets, despite the fact that it is a human right to have access to clean water and sanitation. Toilets save lives because human waste spreads killer diseases.” He stressed.
Consistently ranked amongst the most trusted brands in the country, Harpic from the stable of RB is the market leader in the toilet care category in Nigeria with a leading market share. Harpic has been educating consumers on the benefits of having hygienic toilets through its door to door program, consumer education, mystery visits with the Harpic brand ambassador and donation of toilets to rural communities in order to instigate behavioural change with respect to good toilet hygiene practices.
RB has been in Nigeria for over 50 years and has several well-known brands which include –Dettol, Mortein, Harpic, Durex, Gaviscon, Strepsils, Airwick and Jik among many others.