THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION PROGRAMME ON THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE: A CASE STUDY OF IGBARA-ODO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
It is believed that God created man in his own image to be in control of the environment and make the best out of it as recorded in the bible (Gen 1:26-31). But man in his search for daily bread, quest for knowledge and materials wealth, has turned round to pollute the beautiful environment. From the earliest times man has been striving to control the environment. But as said earlier, man owns the health and life. That is why he found himself from the dragon headed problems he has caused himself in recent times. Environmental sanitation has become a topical subject at international, national state and local spheres. This is aim at initiating action to arrest the fast deteriorating environmental health status worldwide. In Nigeria, today the congestion of people in urban areas which is mainly as a result of rural urban migration the concentration of industrial establishment and share increase in population have made the control of the environment imperative and equally challenging.
To improve the general environmental sanitation of the major town in Nigeria has always constituted a big problem to both individual and government with the result that the town/cities are being strangulated by things generated by the inhabitant. The result of this condition is environmental pollution in all its ramification. The problems of pollution have also found its way into the political area and every community in every state has been confronted difficulties of his environment. To the man concern regarding pollution is the adverse effect exerted on the health of the people. The problems of poor sanitation and unhygienic behaviour among the majority of Nigerians are so serious that the federal military government had to come into check the situation towards achieving “health for all by the year 2010” as declared by the world health organization (WHO). Several strategies were mapped out and adopted by the federal government (the military regime in 1984 to achieve this objective. Consequently, the environmental sanitation programmes were mounted throughout the federation. This was followed by the establishment of the “task force on environmental sanitation” at both state and local levels to co0ordinate this elaborate programme.
The Ekiti state chapter was launched on 20th March 1984 by the then state military governor SANYA. This led to the appointment of captain JOSHUA AYODELE as the state chairman of the taskforce on environmental sanitation-the position he actively held till the task force was decentralized in October, 1988 this sanitation movement was backed up legally by edicts for Ekiti state it was captioned edict No 18 of 1984, which took effect from Monday April 2nd 1984. At the local government level too, environmental sanitation committees were appointed with members down from various walks of life. Serious sanitation were imposed on individuals public and private establishment or corporate bodies who fell short of the expected governments guidelines on environmental sanitation or health habits and practices. For instance, dirty filthy private premises dumping of refuse in unauthorized places. Urinating or defecating in public places were punishable by the fine ranging from N 100-1000, or punishment as the case may be.
Food hygiene, street trading, unauthorized parking of vehicles were also areas of concern which were also embedded in WAI “War Against Indiscipline” meant to inculcate in people correct healthful living habits, attitude and practices. Later, incentives were put and the programme became competitive in nature among the various state and local government areas of the federal republic of Nigeria. This effort was also aimed at identifying the nation with the cause of the world health organization which then declared June 1984 as the “World environmental Sanitation Day”- with War Against filthy environment as the theme. Because of the military nature of the implementation of the new environmental sanitation programme people responded accordingly, but not without close supervision. Consciously or unconsciously, most of our town and cities were given some face-lift for sometime. Health implication of their poor health habits and practices the motives of the environmental sanitation programme are often misunderstood to their “statuquo” when they are no longer closely supervised.
Infact, the problem of poor environmental sanitation and unhygienic behaviour among the majority of Nigerians have persisted despite the various sanctions or stringent measured taken by governments and other health agencies to enforce a change of attitude among the people. It is important to note too that all the while emphasis has been concern about the mass rural population or communities that contribute significantly to the urban populace, it then stands to reason to assert that the individuals home orientation would also be unconsciously exhibited in a new environment. Hence the neglect of the sanitation crusade at the grassroots level has made the sanitation efforts in most of our town and cities abortive.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The main concern of the study, therefore is to identify investigate and find out answer to the following sub problems.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to investigate the “MODUS OPERAND” of the Igbara Odo experiment with a view of identifying our alternative strategy for the lasting solution to our persisting environmental health problems towards achieving health for all by 2010 AD.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The “Igbara Odo experiment” is a unique venture in the recent time and in the history of environmental sanitation in the urban level. The result of the findings of the study would therefore be useful to not only the government but also to individuals, the public and the community. To the government, it could help in reviewing their former strategies with a view of achieving health for all at a low or no significant cost. The findings and recommendation may stimulate health challenges in other rural/urban community towards inculcating and maintaining health habits and practices thereby advancing lasting solution to the fast global environmental decay.
To the community, the study could be a source of motivation that could immortalize the initiative of the people and so this health practice part of the people so this health practice part of the people culture. The result of the investigation could also initiate further research in the health area, in the effort to establishing a more dynamic health culture for the world at large.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
In the course of this study certain operational technical terms were unavoidably used in the write-up to express some views. Those terms have however, been defined herefore the quick understanding.