ISAAC OJO writes that the Water and Sanitation Hygiene, WASH specialist of the United Nations Children Fund UNICEF, Enugu, Mr. Ferdinand Njue has said that Open defecation has been identified as one of the major causes of airborne diseases amongst people.
Njue stated this during a two-day workshop on Institutional Triggering and Sensitization Meeting for stakeholders in Anambra East.
The workshop which was organized by European Union and UNICEF in collaboration with Anambra State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency, RUWASSA, had in attendance traditional rulers, Presidents General, Environmental Health Officers, representatives of Various WASH
Communities in Anambra East, State UNICEF Consultants among other stakeholders.
Addressing the participants, the WASH Specialist, Mr. Njue who was represented by the Zonal WASH Consultant, Mr. Toyin Adisa, called on the participants to promote good health by maintaining a clean and healthy environment.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Donor Agency, Mrs Mary Ogugua, informed that the workshop will help the communities ascertain factors militating against ODF, take necessary actions toward solving the problems for improved health welfare of the people.
Also, the Transition Committee Chairman Anambra East Council Area, Mr. Pius Ifeadi and the Permanent Secretary Public Utilities, Mr. Douglas Mbah, maintained that all the communities must join in the fight against open defecation in order to maintain good sanitation management in the area.
The state Sanitation Officer, RUWASSA, Mrs. Oluchi Nwankwo, said that the objective of the workshop was to bring the hygiene awareness to the doorsteps of the communities, noting that UNICEF had already taken the sensitization to schools, with plans already on to take the message to motor parks, markets and other cluster points.
The Wash Coordinator Anambra East, Mrs. Helen Offor, listed some of the challenges towards achieving total ODF to include lack of support, difficulty in construction of toilets and lack of hygiene promotion materials.
The traditional ruler of Aguleri Otu, Igwe Alex Edoziuno and his Nando counterpart, Igwe John Iwuno, promised to take the message to their various communities, and ensure that every household adhere to it.