Harpic Targets 1 Million Homes As Nigeria Marks World Toilet Day
Against the backdrop of 34 million Nigerians not having access to clean and safe toilets, Reckitt Benckiser, the market leader in health, hygiene and home care product has mapped out awareness creation strategies to reach 1 million homes in the country. Using the World Toilet Day (WTD) platform, the company highlighted the importance of clean toilets both in homes and communities.
Marketing Director for West Africa, Mr. Oguzhan Silivrili made this known during a press briefing/awareness creation event held in Lagos. He stated that the “Harpic Experience Moments” – which stated on November 19 – is a set of activities that began with reaching 1million homes across 16 cities within the country to educate consumers about how to keep a clean and hygienic toilet.
He added that the world toilet day marks the flag off of the experience train that would be rolled out to increase access to clean toilet especially in public places where toilets are dilapidated or nonexistent. “The Harpic train would kick off in Lagos state which has only 45% access to flush toilets in the following communities, Lagos Island, Mushin, Agege and Ikotun where residents will be sensitised on the need to maintain clean toilets. During these ‘Harpic Experience Moments,’ consumers – especially women – would be taught the simple methods of keeping their toilets clean using Harpic.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Rural Development, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi who also spoke at the event, stated that Nigeria is one of the countries that practice open defecation the most. Represented by Engineer Akinwumi Babatunde, he stressed that one of the ways to tackle this is to provide more toilets and make sure they are kept clean and the gender sensitiveto those using it, especially forphysically challenged individuals.
He commended Harpic for celebrating the day and for focusing on the campaign to end open defecation with its attendant effects on the health of the people and the environment in general.
In the same vein, the State Commissioner for Health, Hon. Olajide Idris said the ministry appreciates and support what Harpic is doing in ensuring that the huge figure of 34 million Nigerians without access to toilets is reduced drastically. Represented by Mr. Sobowale Abayomi, Deputy Director Environmental Health Services, the commissioner said the state government is doing all that is necessary to ensure that people in the state do not practice open defecation.
In her comments, the Iyaloja of Oke-Arin provision market, Alhaja Kuburat Osho enjoined women to focus on taking very good care of this very important part of their home as the toilet and kitchen are essential parts of a healthy family. She applauded Harpic for bringing the initiative to them and also by going to the grassroots with sensitization exercises of this nature which she noted would impact positively on the populace.
The World Toilet Organization was founded by Jack Sim, a Singapore business tycoon in 2001 and it is now a growing network of 235 organisations in 58 countries including Nigeria where a “World Toilet Day” is celebrated to create awareness towards improving the state of toilets and sanitation globally.