Ashoka Remembers Fellow Isaac Durojaiye

Fellow Isaac Durojaiye

The Ashoka community is mourning the loss of Ashoka Nigeria Fellow Isaac Durojaiye, an icon of the Ashoka Fellowship who was elected in 2005 for his innovative contributions to the fields of health and environment. Durojaiye founded DMT Evacuation Service, the first mobile toilet initiative in Nigeria and the West African Sub-region, in order to remedy rampant urban unemployment and poor sanitation conditions.

Beyond his own initiatives, Durojaiye played a major role in the growth of the Fellowship in Nigeria. He was always ready to take time from his busy itinerary to serve as a panelist in the Fellow election process. He also helped develop the Fellow Security Program in Nigeria, building a crisis prevention and response network to ensure the safety of Fellows and their families. 

Durojaiye studied graphic design and business administration, but ended up in the security business, probably as a result of his imposing physique. Over the years, he served as an investigator on credit card fraud matters for American Express Card, U.K., Security Division; and as chief bodyguard/chief security officer to late Chief M.K.O Abiola, who was elected president of Nigeria in 1993 but blocked from serving by the ruling military regime. Durojaiye also carried out major security assignments for both the public and private sectors. 

On one occasion, while providing security at a large society wedding, he observed the inadequacy of the toilet facilities, which forced many to leave the premises to find a restroom. It was a security nightmare for Durojaiye.

Durojaiye began to look into this problem more seriously, recognizing that it was more dire and widespread than he had imagined. His initial effort to construct 18 toilets made from three used shipment containers gave rise to the creation of his company, DMT MOBILE TOILETS, which today manufactures, sells, rents, leases, and maintains hundreds of mobile toilets in Nigeria.

Durojaiye believed that the health and dignity of Nigerian citizens is eroded by the lack of adequate toilet facilities, which forces many people to defecate and urinate indiscriminately in major cities around the country. For Durojaiye, the solution was simple: Nigerian cities could be as clean and hygienic as any other city if adequate facilities were provided. Based on this recognition, starting in Lagos, Durojaiye embarked on the first mobile toilet initiative in the country.

Also known as Otumba Gadaffi, Durojaiye was an inspiration to all who knew him, and he will be dearly missed.

To learn more about Durojaiye and his work, please click here.  

This article was originally published on 6 April 2012
Related TopicsBusiness & Social Enterprise, Social enterprise, Waste, Sanitation, Environment & Sustainability, Health & Fitness

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