The Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State says it will end open defecation in all communities in the area by 2023.
The Council Chairman, Hon. Roland Sekibo, said this in Abonnema headquarters of the local government council, during the 2019 World Toilet Day celebration in the area.
Sekibo who was represented by the vice chairman of the council, Mrs Carolina West, said the council is committed towards ending open defecation in the area.
According to him, as part of the commitment, a bill to criminalise open defecation has been sent to the local government legislative assembly.
The council also sponsored students from the area to the national open defecation quiz competition in which the students came with flying colours.
In her keynote address, the wife of the council chairman, Mrs Binaebi Sekibo said ending open defecation in the area will lead to a 36 per cent reduction in death especially among children under five years of age.
Mrs Sekibo represented by Hon. Tobins Tobins said the council can also end open defecation by stopping the construction of new pier latrines and dismantling the existing ones, through the construction of eco-friendly latrines.
According to her; ending this practice would transform the lives of women and girls, who face the daily indignity of finding somewhere to go each day for their basic needs, risking sexual harassment and abuse for not having a toilet.
“We will change the lives for the many girls who abandon schools due to the lack of basic menstrual hygiene and sanitation activities” she said.
She however expressed hope that with the progress made so far, the area would soon become Open Defecation Free (ODF).
“We are making progress. Communities such as; Obonnoma, Soku, Elem Sungama, Offoin Ama and Idama have been declared open defecation free courtesy of UNICEF-NDSP,” “she said.
Also speaking, the General Manager of the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Napoleon Adah, thanked the council or the effort to make AKULGA open defecation free.
Adah, who was represented by Mrs Safe Hart said the celebration was to ensure that no one is left behind.
According to him, it is a celebration to promote good hygiene practices, stressing that time has come for everyone’s in the area to key into the campaign.
Earlier, the coordinator of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) unit AKULGA, Mrs Ifeoma Nwogu, said children and youths are worst affected by inadequate sanitation and open defecation.
While thanking the council chairman for the event, Nwogu stressed the need for the celebration to be held annually in the area.
NOSDRA Records 229 Pipeline Vandalisation Cases In N’Delta
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), says it recorded over 229 cases of pipeline vandalisation between 2018 and 2019 in the South-South zone.
South-South Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Mr Cyrus Nkangwung who said this in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the level of pipeline vandalisation has continued to increase in the region.
Nkangwung said the situation has also worsened the already polluted environment of the Niger Delta region.
“Between 2018 and 2019, we recorded about 229 cases of pipeline sabotage and it has continued to increase,” he said.
He said NOSDRA will sustain its sensitisation programme on the dangers of pipeline vandalisaiton.
“We need to enlighten communities in the region on the dangers of pipeline sabotage. The activities of vandals are destroying the environment” he said.
Meanwhile, an environmentalist, Prince William Chinwo says time has come for youths of the Niger Delta to be cautioned against involvement in activities that will destroy the environment.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the activities of pipeline vandals were causing untold hardship to the people of the Niger Delta.
According to him, the Niger Delta environment has been destroyed, while in some cases fires from vandalised pipelines have led to series of deaths in the region.
Chinwo also agreed with the NOSDRA Director that there is need for communities in the region to be properly sensitised with a view to calling their youths to order.
He also stressed the need for governments at all levels in the country to initiate programmes that will lead to massive employment opportunities for youths in the region.
John Bibor & Amina Ngoma
Traders Laud RSG Over Weekly Sanitation Exercise
The Rivers State Government has been commended for instituting the Thursday weekly environmental sanitation exercise in markets across the state.
A cross section of traders who spoke with our correspondent during the exercise in Port Harcourt said the situation has improved the aesthetic condition of markets in the state.
They stressed the need for the government to impose sanction on any trader who refused to clean his shop during the exercise.
Speaking, Mrs Patience Ochuze said the weekly cleanup exercise has instilled the culture of cleanliness among traders. She stressed the need for the exercise to be extended to the rural areas.
Also speaking, Mr John Amadi said it is important to cleanup markets, in order to attract customers.
“The market is where we do business, so it is important that we keep it clean he said.
Amadi also stressed the need for market leaderships across the state to impose fines on any trader who absent himself during the period of the exercise.
On her part, Mrs Chinyere Chukwudi said the exercise was the best thing that Rivers State Government has done to traders.
EU/NDSP Water Projects: Community Laments Lack Of Distribution Facilities
The Public Relations Officer of the Nkoro Council of Chiefs in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State, Alabo Rogers Ibibo Oroni III, says many households in the community are not feeling the impact of the European Union (EU) Water Projects in the community.
Alabo Oroni who said this in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, however blamed the situation on inadequate water distribution facilities in the area.
He said this government was not to be blamed for the situation as members of the community were required to contribute some monies for the extension of the water facilities round the community and its environs.
The Council of Chiefs PRO said despite the situation, the community is grateful to the European Union (EU) for considering Nkoro community worthy for the siting of water projects.
Meanwhile, Alabo Rogers Ibibo Oroni has commended the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) project, for the siting of a micro water project and civic centre in the community.
According to him, by the siting of the projects, the community is now recognised not only by the Rivers State Government but also by the European Union and the World Bank.
He said the community will ensure that both the civic centre and the water projects are properly maintained.
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