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Sanitation in Nigeria: NYSC Corpers visit local markets

Some members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) visited a local market place in Bauchi State, to inform the people at the market about the importance of sanitation within the community.

A group of NYSC youths visited the Fadaman Mada Market in Bauchi state to educate some sugarcane sellers, about the importance of hygiene and maintaining public sanitation within the region.

Muhammad Tukur, one of the group leaders told reporters that, “it is germane for the sugarcane sellers to learn how to get rid of the waste in a way that it can be used as manure afterwards.”

He added that the purpose of their visit is to “create awareness to the locals on how a proper hygiene should be carried out in the environment and their business.”

According to Mr Tukur, waste particles from sugarcane can be used as fertilizer to farmers and it can be another source of revenue for the local people.

There are many benefits to sanitation; however, the group is interested on health benefits and how it can affect communities.

Sanitation and health 

Some 827 000 people in low- and middle-income countries die as a result of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene each year, representing 60% of total diarrhoeal deaths. Poor sanitation is believed to be the main cause in some 432 000 of these deaths.

Diarrhoea remains a major killer but is largely preventable. Better water, sanitation, and hygiene could prevent the deaths of 297 000 children aged under 5 years each year.

Open defecation perpetuates a vicious cycle of disease and poverty. The countries where open defection is most widespread have the highest number of deaths of children aged under 5 years as well as the highest levels of malnutrition and poverty, and big disparities of wealth.

Benefits of improving sanitation

Benefits of improved sanitation extend well beyond reducing the risk of diarrhoea. These include:

  • reducing the spread of intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma, which are neglected tropical diseases that cause suffering for millions;
  • reducing the severity and impact of malnutrition;
  • promoting dignity and boosting safety, particularly among women and girls;
  • promoting school attendance: girls’ school attendance is particularly boosted by the provision of separate sanitary facilities; and
  • potential recovery of water, renewable energy and nutrients from faecal waste.

A World Health Organization study in 2012 calculated that for every US$ 1.00 invested in sanitation, there was a return of US$ 5.50 in lower health costs, more productivity, and fewer premature deaths.