Monday, 23 November 2015

World Toilet Day: Harpic Partners United Nations on Toilet Hygiene

Against the backdrop of over 32 million Nigerians not having access to functional toilet facilities and defecating in the open, Harpic, Nigeria’s No. 1 toilet cleaning brand from Reckitt Benckiser the market leader in health, hygiene and home care products has reechoed the need for clean toilets in addition to poor sanitation as the leading cause to large economic losses, high impact on malnutrition rates as well as morbidity. Harpic made its promise and position known as it marked the World Toilet Day, WTD on Thursday, November 19, in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos.

RB’s Vision for Nigeria is where people are healthier and live better and RB will continue on making difference by giving Nigerians innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. Harpic, one of RB’s power brands has consistently put on the front burner the importance of having access to clean toilet and the potential health implications as well as the vulnerability it poses, especially to Women and Children.
(L-R) Head, Education Committee, Female Muslim Doctors (IMAN) Dr. Halima Alimi, Marketing Manager Home Care Reckitt Benckiser West Africa, Bamigbaye-Elatuyi Omotola, Director United Nation Information Centre, Ronald Kayanja, Marketing Director Reckitt Benckiser, Oguzhan Silivrili and the Seriki Hausawa Idi- Araba Community, Alhaji Idris Lawal at the 2015 World Toilet Day Celebration
RB’s Marketing Director, West Africa, Mr. Oguzhan Silivrili who spoke at the Idi-Araba Community and Idi-Araba School Complex, Mushin, Lagos – venue of the event - said the enlightenment becomes necessary because open defecation has a ripple effect to the larger society as it affects the healthy living conditions resulting in increased Child Mortality, Cholera, Diahoerria in addition to its considerable social costs which include loss of dignity or risk of physical attack and sexual abuse. As a result, Nigeria Loses N455bln annually which is 1.3% of the Nigeria’s GDP to poor sanitation and hygiene which increases the risk of disease and malnutrition.

“This year, WTD is focusing on the link between sanitation and nutrition, drawing the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. Lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good toilet hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition. The aim of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about the people in the world who do not have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human right to have clean water and sanitation.”


He pointed out that Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all. “Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year, fecal contamination of the environment is the root cause of an annual average of 5,400 cases of cholera affecting Nigeria. Harpic has been in the fore front of this campaign reaching 1,000,000 homes yearly across 16 cities within the country to educate consumers about how to keep a clean and hygienic toilet

Category Manager Harpic, Bamigbaiye-Elatuyi Omotola stated that Harpic’s toilet hygiene campaign initiative builds on the strong commitment already made by UN Member States.  The “Sanitation for All’ Resolution (A/RES/67/291) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2013, designating 19 November as World Toilet Day.

The Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with Governments and relevant stakeholders.  Prior to the event, Harpic had a community engagement walk in partnership with United Nations Information Centre, distributing fliers on toilet Hygiene and Sanitation in addition to one-on-one sanitation awareness and education to residents of Idi-Araba and environs on the need for better toilet hygiene practices. Members of the community were also taught basic hygiene techniques on how to maintain toilets, while Harpic demonstrated good toilet hygiene practices and also donated two mobile toilets to the community.

Receiving the mobile toilets, the Sarkin Hausawa of Id-Araba, Alhaji Idris Lawal promised that the community will take good care of the toilets. He commended Harpic for taking the bold step of ensuring that those in the community are conversant with flushable toilet facilities.

Message from the United Nations Secretary General, Dr. Ban Ki Moon was delivered by the UNIC Director, Mr. Ronald Kayanja while a brief pictorial presentation of the Sustainable Development Goals in relation to sanitation/WTD was equally presented.

This day is significant to generate more awareness that open defecation not only has higher costs than any other sanitation practice, it has considerable adverse social impacts. Harpic has undertaken to create proactive awareness on sanitation anchored on the World Toilet Day.

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