Public servants at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja have commended the improved status of toilet facilities and sanitary conditions of the secretariat.
They said the water supply situation has not only impoved but the toilet facilities are now in better conditions.
The workers gave the commendation when they spoke with the correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to them, there used to be a time when it seemed as if they would no longer come to work due to the absence of water and the poor sanitary condition of the toilets at the secretariat.
Mr Gabriel Yerima, one of the civil servants, expressed gratitude to the management of the secretariat for rescuing the workers from the bad situation, adding that they could now work with ease.
“There was a time we used to face serious challenge of lack of water to clean up the conveniences but it was rectified and since then our toilets are running with water.
“In fact, there was a time if you come to work, you wouldn’t want to stay to work because of the offensive odour coming from the toilets, but today the situation has changed,” Yerima said.
According to him, the workers have overcome the unhygienic environmental challenge they faced after the restoration of water.
Mrs Grace Taiwo, another civil servant, who recalled how unbearable the situation had been, said there is improvement in toilet facilities.
“Actually, there was a time we used to have serious challenge to ease ourselves owing to lack of water to flush toilets after use.
“The situation was so bad that a good number of us have to go outside the premises to ease ourselves, but the situation has changed now, “Taiwo said.
Mrs Veronica Ekung in her own contribution, said the number of workers at the secretariat had over – stretched the toilet facilities available, adding that it also contributed to the challenge of the past.
Ekung said the construction of public toilets in the area had also eased the burden, as a good number of workers could pay a token to relief themselves whenever the need arose.
“The increased number of people working here and the influx of visitors also contributed a lot to the bad situation.
“But there is a very big relief for us since the public toilets were constructed,” she said.
Mr Umar Ahmed, manager of the public toilets at the secretariat confirmed the drastic reduction of open defecation within the premises since the toilets were built.
“Besides outsiders or visitors coming here to relieve themselves, some of the workers at the main secretariat also come here to pay a token to ease themselves.
“The presence of the toilets have helped to reduce open defecation because there was a time when the secretariat lacked water for the toilets, the situation led people to openly pollute the environment.
“But, since the construction of the toilets, such incident have been reduced,” Ahmed said.
According to him, facilities at the toilets are still intact since they were installed but the only challenge is lack of power to pump the water.
“As you can see, we are using electricity generating set to pump water, we had public power supply before but when it developed fault, we tried to contact the authority to fix it to no avail,” Ahmed said.
Mr Salman Yusuf, one of the management staff of the facility who spoke on the challenges, said men in particular still urinated in the open in spite of warnings.
Yusuf described the development as unhygienic and an eyesore before visitors who used to visit the Foreign Affairs Ministry in particular and the secretariat premises in general.
On her own part, Mrs Theresa Olije, a petty trader who was seen coming out of one of the toilets, praised the management of the toilets for their maintenance, adding that it had helped those of them in the environment a lot. (NAN)