By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Federal Government is set to deploy 60,000 Environmental Health Emergency Volunteer Corps (EHEVC) to ensure compliance with ‘safe measures to be adopted against COVID-19.
The Minister of Environment Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud Abubakar disclosed this at a press briefing to unfold plans to ensure safe return to schools by teachers and students.
He said the volunteers will be responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes and activities in the schools, including regular and routine sanitary inspection of premises.
“This time around, I shall be activating 60,000 volunteers to cover schools in all the 774 local governments of the federation.
“We are collaborating with the ministry of education to ensure we realise the guidelines on safe reopening of schools and learning facilities.
“The Environmental Health Emergency Volunteers’ Corps (EHEVC) will be utilised, as done previously based on the outcome of their performance in the examination centres’ surveillance,” he said.
“Furthermore, in accordance with the guidelines, EHOs in the Federal and State Ministries of Environment, as well as those in the Local Government Area (LGA) Environmental Health Departments shall be part of the joint assessment teams for safe reopening of schools and learning facilities, as they are among the authorized assessors.”
In an interview with journalists, Baba Yakubu Mohammed, Acting Registrar, Environmental Health Officers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON), stated that the ministry is the major stakeholder as far as school resumption is concern.
“The Federal government has a rolling plan on easing the lockdown in stages.
“If you can recall the Federal government opened up 19,000 centres for WAEC, all these are gradual process before other Nigeria institutions are included. Now the ministry is deploying 60,000 volunteers to mornitor in 774 LGAs, that’s really a major milestone.”
“The environmental volunteers will continue to mount surveillance desk and also ensure that the Presidential task force guidelines are adhered too in all schools.”