Help Keep Clean Foundation has advised Nigerians against inappropriate disposal of municipal waste, describing it as hazardous to health.
Miss Ijeoma Chikezie, the President and Founder of the organisation, gave the advice in a sideline interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the maiden edition of its National Health Advancement Conference (NAHAC) in Abuja.
Chikezie, a 25-year-old Medical Laboratory Scientist and Miss United Nations World Habitat recipient, identified environmental cleanliness as the responsibility of all and sundry not restricted to the government.
The lab scientist who decried the rate of inappropriate waste disposal and poor hygiene practices by the populace however urged them to desist, warning that “it is dangerous to our health, environment been our habits’’.
“Our environment is our habitat; if you keep it clean you are keeping yourself clean and healthy, let us help the government by keeping our environment clean and make their job easier.
“Environmental cleanliness is everybody’s responsibility; it does not end with the government it also behoves on every one of us to keep our environment clean,” she said.
Chikezie said the conference was informed based on her passion for environmental health, hygiene and cleanliness.
She explained that the theme “Environmental health: Re-awakening national awareness on environmental hazards and safety” was aimed at addressing numerous environmental challenges or hazards facing the country.
Chikezie, who identified some of the hazards to include flood and tremors, attributed them to unhealthy practices like inappropriate waste disposal and open defecation, among others.
She decried the number of lives and property lost yearly across the country, outbreak of infectious diseases due to `I don’t care attitude’.
According to her, the conference will discuss and proffer solutions or ways in which individuals and governments can help solve this numerous environmental problems.
“The mission of our organisation is to improve clean water, adequate sanitation and hygiene in rural communities and schools, to protect and defend child’s right and privileges.
“Our vision is also to sustainably empower women and vulnerable children through quality education and care to break the circle of poverty, hunger, diseases, illiteracy and maternal/child mortality,” Chikezie said.
Highlight of the event include presentation of awards to Dr Mike Omotosho, the Founder, Omotosho Foundation; Mr Ibrahim Jibril, the Minister of Environment, and wife of the Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki, among others.
A book titled “Tom and his hand washing friends” promoting personal hygiene and authored by Chikezie was also unveiled at the event.