By Ahmed Ahmed
An International Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) WaterAid has urged governments to improve the working condition of sanitation workers for effective service delivery.
Dr Evelyn Mere, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, made the call in a statement signed by Oluseyi Abdulmalik, Communications & Media Manager, WaterAid Nigeria to Mark the 2021 world toilet day made available to Journalists in Bauchi.
She said governments must take urgent measures to institute policies that change the general practice in the sanitation value chain and improve the working conditions of sanitation workers.
“We must protect the rights of the workers who sustain our sanitation systems and contribute meaningfully to safeguarding the rights of this marginalised population of the society” she said.
According to her, in addressing the sanitation crisis, we must ensure that all gaps in the sanitation value chain are covered.
“Without sanitation workers, sanitation systems will not function, and this will lead to catastrophic consequences in public health.
“Sanitation workers render a huge and valuable public service and they must be valued, supported, and protected,” Mere pointed out.
The Country Director explaind that with many workers undocumented and defecation still a huge taboo in many societies, tackling the issues surrounding the sanitation workforce is challenging.
She said WaterAid is increasing awareness and raising support for sanitation workers, advocating for governments to recognise and protect the rights of the workforce.
“More research is also being conducted to better understand how to help improve working conditions and empower these vital but forgotten frontline workers.
“WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation,” she Said.
Our correspondent report that saanitation workers include people who clean toilets and sewers, empty latrine pits and septic tanks and operate pumping stations and treatment plants.
“As well as those who clear faecal waste manually, sweep rubbish and transport faecal sludge, solid waste workers and cleaners,”.