Rivers State Government has reiterated its position on partnering with the private sector on health promotional activities in the state.
Giving the hint at the opening ceremony of Community Health Awareness Campaign organised by Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TENG) for Eneka and Rukpokwu communities, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State recently, the state Commissioner for Health, Hon. Sampson Parker described the campaigns as a welcomed development, noting that government cannot do it alone.
Represented by the ministry’s Director of Environmental and Occupational Services, Dr N. C. T. Briggs, the commissioner stated that the involvement of communities in campaigns such as the health awareness campaigns was key.
He disclosed that the conditions for free medical services offered by the state government had changed, explaining that it takes just two passports and letter of identification from the person’s community to ascertain the person was from there.
The health awareness campaign was specifically for communities along the Obite-Ubewa-Rumuji (OUR) pipeline and the Northern Option Pipeline (NOPL) projects transversing through their land. The projects were initiated by the NNPC/TEPNG Joint Venture (JV) to support federal government’s plans to increase revenue from gas production and to utilise domestic gas for generation of electricity through the National Independent Power Project (NIPP).
The Deputy Managing Director, TEPNG, Mr Nicolas Brunet, said the OUR pipeline would support gas delivery to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas plants in Bonny to increase export earnings from gas while NOPL would ensure gas delivery to the Independent Power Project at Alaoji in Abia State to improve electricity supply.
Brunet pointed out that the company’s sustainable development policy not only emphasis control and mitigation of the impact of the company’s operations on the people and environment but also supports the socio-economic development of the stakeholding communities.
Accordingly, he explained, the pre-Project Environmental Impact Assessment of the areas indicated the likelihood of potential increase in social vices during the pipeline construction and this informed the health awareness campaign.
“Consequently, the Impact Mitigation and Monitoring Plan was designed to include health enlightenment campaigns to educate and communicate the dangers inherent in risky social attitudes such as menace of risky sexual behaviours, heath effects of alcohol and drugs, hypertension and diabetes, and HIV/AIDS, among others.
According to him the campaigns would be carried out in 12 communities across the five local government areas of ONELGA, Ahoada East, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor and Etche in Rivers State and Owaza in Abia State which lie among the pipeline right of way and those near the installations.