[OPINION] High Rate Of Mortality: The Dearth Of Sanitary Inspectors By Ilyas A. Adegoke

How much I wish we returned to the olden days when sanitary inspectors
known as “Wole-Wole” among the Yorubas, “Nwa ole-ala” among the Igbos,
and “Duba-Geri” in the Hausa-speaking parts of the country were rated
in high- esteem as they took preventive health to an enviable height.
In those days, people were conscious of the fact that environmental
inspectors could come at any time to check their surroundings and as
such our environment was very hygienic and clean of filth because
nobody fell victim of sanitation-related diseases like cholera,
diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid etc.
But it is very pathetic that this good programme government has turned
out to be counter productive to the economy and a futile exercise ever
since the death of sanitary inspectors and this thereby makes the
lawyers advocating for its cancellation on the ground that  it
conflicts with section 35 and 41 of the constitution that guarantee
rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement. However, it can be
argued that sanitary inspection constitutes exceptions to the
provision of section 35 and 41 of the 1999 constitution.
The truth of the matter is that private businesses often incurred
greater losses during environmental sanitation periods and the
purposes of the exercise which was to keep the market environment
clean had been largely defeated due to the non-enforcement of the
cleanup exercise by the authorities and thereby makes the exercise
appeared to be a waste of time, as many residents often preferred to
stay indoors doing nothing and waiting for the exercise to end.
Gone were the days when the sanitary inspectors were seen carrying out
a house-to-house inspection of premises to ensure that residents
applied environmental health practices and to serve defaulters with
notice to comply with safety and cleanliness rules and regulations,
failure of which they would be charged to court not only to improve
and protect the people’s health and well beings but also to  promote
proper disposal of human and animal wastes, proper use of toilet,
general cleanliness as well as the need to avoid open defecation. But
the non- enforcement of the country’s laws on environmental health is
a direct consequence of high morbidity and mortality rates in the
country. For instance, RESREA ACT
Nowadays it is not uncommon to hear the case of individuals and
families dropping dead after having a particular meal owing to
widespread poor environmental health which points   to the fact that
there is no need to designate a special day for environmental
sanitation but rather the cleaning of the surroundings should be all
day affair.
This becomes necessary because in places where the sanitation is
being done, the collected waste is usually left by the roadside for
days, thereby exposing the public to pathogens. People contact
infectious diseases on a daily basis because the water that is drunk,
the food that is eaten and the air that is breathe come from the
I want to opine here that government should intensify its efforts by
ensuring that people are well- oriented about the hygienic environment
through the media.  Different places of worship also have a pivotal
role to play in sensitizing the people about sanitation. The
government must also as a matter of urgency review its sanitation
policy so as to ensure proper environmental hygiene.
In Conclusion, unless the government re introduces the sanitary
inspectors across the nation, strengthen their power and prioritize
their  remuneration the government would continue to waste the time of
Nigerians at the end of every month and thereby causing economic loss
to them

By: Ilyas A. Adegoke
400level law student, Unilorin