Promoting sustainability in economic environment through non-sewered sanitation system – businessday news you can trust businessday news you can trust electricity flow direction

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F or an economic environment to thrive and support business growth, it must be sustainable and there must be conscious efforts by supervising and regulatory agencies to put measures in place to ensure that sustainability is not only given, but also enforced.

In this instance, standardization and its enforcement become not only necessary, but also imperative. The purpose of standardization is to enable the development of standards along the sanitation system which is designed to address basic sanitation needs and promote economic, social and environmental sustainability.

In the light of this, it becomes clearer why the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria’s watchdog for standardization and standard practice, is perfecting plans to implement the ISO PC 305 and ISO PC 318 through sustainable non-sewered sanitation system.

There are some benefits of participation and adoption of these international standards. The adoption, in the opinion of Osita Aboloma, director general of SON, will among other things provide a basis for confidence, transparency and continuity in businesses.

The ISO PC 305 was established at the Technical Management Board (TMB) resolution in May 2016 and Aboloma explained at a meeting where two committees were set up for its adoption, that the aim was to provide a standard solution to the issue of a sustainable and affordable sanitation that will alleviate the problem of open defecation.

Sanitation and standard are very critical to business growth. Statistics released recently by WaterAid International make a shocking revelation that working days lost to poor sanitation costs the global economy approximately $4 billion per year while loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5 percent of GDP. It adds that lack of access to sanitation cost the global economy US$222.9 billion in 2015, up from US$182.5 billion in 2010, a rise of about 22 percent in just five years.

“ISO PC 318 community scale resource oriented sanitation treatment systems has just been formed”, Aboloma said, disclosing that the two committee, National Mirror Committee (NMC)/ Technical Committee (TC), inaugurated at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos recently are to work on both standards through non-sewered sanitation systems.

But while the Mirror Committee will be responsible for establishing Nigeria’s position on issues relating to the activities of the ISO PC 305 and ISO PC 318, the Technical Committee will be responsible for adopting the ISO PC 305 and ISO PC 318 standards as national standards.

Specifically, ISO PC 318 will build on the information and expertise gathered to develop 1WA 28,which is a major step in realizing the potential of such technology, ultimately save lives and help facilitate the commercialisation and expansion of treatment units into the market, making them safer and more accessible to those who need them.

Members of the committee have been charged to immediately hit the ground running by making meaningful contributions required to ensure Standards reflect Nigeria’s position to facilitate its adoption as a National Standards. Expectation is that these standards will provide the necessary confidence for engagements and also come up with initiatives that will create positive impact on the sector.

Similarly, stakeholders in municipal sanitation organisations have been urged to encourage their governments to consider, particularly, the adoption and implementation of the community scale resource oriented sanitation system, especially the Omni processor, piloted in Dakar, Senegal to not only treat faecal and waste matter safely, but also generate water and electricity which are very scarce in Nigeria.