The Ekiti State Government, in partnership with some civil society organisations (CSOs), has launched Clean Family Campaign to instil key hygienic practices and check menace of open defaecation in the state.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Mr Bamidele Faparusi, said in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday that it was aimed at mobilising communities and healthcare facilities toward imbibing specific hygiene behaviours.
The Clean Family Campaign is expected to be carried out by Ekiti Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), in collaboration with Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF) and WaterAid Nigeria.
Also, as part of the campaign launch, there was inauguration and handing over of an hygiene-based facility to the management of Christ School, Ado-Ekiti.
Faparusi said the initiative would change the physical and social environment, change the narrative in people’s mind and motivating them to think and act differently through the use of emotional triggers.
He said that the initiative was in line with the national sanitation campaign of the Federal Government tagged: “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet”.
It was launched in 2019 to deliver an open defaecation free Nigeria by 2025.
According to him, good hygiene is the first line of defence against infectious diseases, like Coronavirus disease.
He said: ”Lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure make the practice of good hygiene difficult.
“It is against this background that we are launching the Clean Family Campaign in Ekiti, in collaboration with WaterAid Nigeria.”
The commissioner recommended handwashing with soap at critical times, social distancing, respiratory hygiene, use of clean toilets, proper waste management and cleaning frequently touched surfaces for better outcome, especially in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faparusi said the state government, through the campaign, would empower and encourage people to practice good hygiene, using contexts specific hygiene messaging through promotional touch points such as Television, billboards and radios.
“We will also hand over 35 permanent handwashing facilities and 100 semi-permanent handwashing facilities and hygiene packs to some underserved communities in the state.
“We believe that the Clean Family Campaign, being launched, will contribute toward achieving the objectives of the state’s open defaecation free roadmap.
“It set us on track to attain open defaecation free status by 2022 – a directive by the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, and change the current narrative around sanitation and hygiene in the state,” he said.
In her remarks, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, Mrs Evelyn Mere, said 167 million citizens (84 per cent of the population), lacked basic handwashing facilities.
Mere, represented by Head, Policy, Advocacy and Communications of the organisation, Mr Kolawole Banwo, said that 112 million people (56 per cent of the population) lacked decent toilets.
She said that the development was responsible for the outbreaks of diseases like diarrhoea, Cholera, Lassa fever as well as stunting and poor cognitive in children.
The country director said that the campaign would be implemented in two streams concurrently.
According to her, they are provision of sanitation and hygiene facilities and kits as well as hygiene promotion through national and community televisions, billboards and radio stations.
Also, the Executive Director, Environmental Development and Family Health Organisation (EDFHO), Mr Olu Ogunrotimi, said the organisation would continue to complement the state government efforts.
Ogunrotimi called for more cooperation and synergy among stakeholders in the sector to achieve the desired free open defaecation status in the state.
Commenting, representative of Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF), Mrs Bukola Adeyemo, said the foundation had invested over 10 million Euro toward creating hygienic environment in Africa.
Adeyemo said the foundation, established in 2007, was saddled with the responsibility of improving the health status of people in the Sub-Sahara African.
She said the foundation had earmarked five million Euro to tackle COVID-19 pandemic in the coming year.
Commenting, a student of Christ School, Ado-Ekiti, Master Akindele Tope, thanked both the state government and Heineken African Foundation for the donation, describing the gesture as unprecedented and highly beneficial.
Contributing, Chief Ojo Babatunde, the Odofin of Odo-Oro, lauded the collaboration aimed at enhancing best personal hygiene practices and safe environment across the state.
Senators Fault Buhari’s Planned Farm Settlements
Some senators have expressed concerns over plans by the regime of President. Muhammadu Buhari, to establish farm settlements in each of the 108 senatorial districts in Nigeria.
They noted that any arrangement to acquire land by the Federal Government at the moment without giving details of what it would be used for, might face stiff resistance from various communities.
The President had last month, directed the National Agricultural Land Development Authority to set up the integrated farm estates in 108 senatorial districts nationwide.
Already, the policy has been greeted with criticisms from the leadership of the various ethnic groups in the middle belt, and southern part of the country, describing it as an attempt in disguise, to create grazing areas for cattle.
The Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Matthew Urhoghide, said the Federal Government should give details of the project before approaching state governments for land allocation.
He said, “We are in the Senate to represent our people. I know what my people want
“What we quarrel against is open grazing; we are not against ranching. We are not saying that a Fulani man that has a herd of cattle cannot come to the South to do the business of ranching but he cannot come to carry out open grazing.
“Grazing has two effects. It leads to wanton destruction of farmland. You cannot use animal husbandry to destroy crop farming. There are also criminal cases associated with it including murder.
“If the Federal Government is coming to get land in my state for ranching, it is okay because we need beef, which would be richer, when it is from the ranching system.
“However, the government should make its intention very clear on the policy to avoid major clashes and crisis.”
Similarly, Senator Abba Moro, representing Benue South in the red chamber said government could make arrangements for herders to do the business of ranching but not at the expense of the farmers.
He advised the Federal Government to go to the drawing board and come up with a modern arrangement to make ranching the way to go.
He said, “When government policies are viewed with suspicion, when citizens lack trust in government policies, then something is wrong.
“Until we address the root causes of conflicts between herders and farmers, and genuinely come out with the right way to go through dialogue, any policy that is thrown at the citizens will be looked at with suspicion which would cause some level of tension.
Senator Wants Improved Network For Results Transmission
The Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, says Nigeria requires 95 per cent of national network coverage to enable electronic transmission of election results in the country.
Kalu said this in an interview with The Tide source yesterday in Abuja.
Recall that 52 senators on July 15 voted against electronic transmission of results in the forthcoming general election while 28 voted for and 28 absentees.
The senators insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be compelled to seek clearance from Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) while the National Assembly would have to approve the verdict of NCC.
Kalu, insisted the current network coverage was inadequate.
“I have never been against transmission of results , I only said we don’t have adequate coverage where we live,this is the issue.
“We have coverage, but it is not adequate.
‘Like Abia North Senatorial District where I come from, there is no adequate coverage, may be 43 per cent coverage, so how are we going to do that.
“ I believe in electronic transmission,but I want to quickly urge the NCC to deploy their technology to ensure wider coverage; I believe in that process because it is transparent.
“ I don’t want to listen to officials who want to buy equipment and make commissions, I am telling myself the truth, if we even have a coverage of 95 per cent it will be okay, but we have below 50 per cent in the entire country.
“I am not talking about my constituency.
“ It wasn’t a party decision to vote against e transmission and not a clique decision, it was out of my conscience.
“ I can only do what I will do that will benefit all Nigerians,” Kalu said.
Igbo Stakeholders Decry Absence Of S’East Govs At Forum
The absence of four Governors of the South-East in the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting held last Thursday in Enugu has been strongly condemned by members of the Concerned Igbo Stake-holders Forum (CISF).
The leader of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa told newsmen in Enugu that there was no justifiable reason that would be enough for these governors to be absent in a meeting of such magnitude.
According to him, it was wrong particularly coming at a time when the region is battling socio-economic and security concerns stemming from the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
His words: “The absence of the Governors of Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra States leaves a lot to question the commitment of these governors to the growth and advancement of the South-East in missing a crucial meeting held within their geopolitical zone.
He further described as very disturbing the conspicuous absence of the Anambra Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, or a representative from the state at the meeting.
Okenwa said that the body language of the South-East governors in recent times leaves no one to doubt that these governors have magnified their interest above that of the region and Ndi-Igbo in general.
“Their gaze at the forthcoming elections in 2023 is becoming an unbearable distraction for them in delivering their mandate to the people,” he also lamented.
The group, therefore beckoned on Ndi-Igbo, regardless of political party affiliation, to unite and formidably negotiate a favourable space in the political scheme of things.
According to him, when this is done, we will ensure an unhindered growth and development of all Igbos, he added.
By: Canice Amadi, Enugu
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