NIGERIA: FG Inaugurates National Emergency Hand Washing Campaign

The Federal Government Monday inaugurated a National Emergency Hand Washing Campaign to prevent further spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD),...

The Federal Government Monday inaugurated a National Emergency Hand Washing Campaign to prevent further spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), in the country.

The campaign is being implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with the National Task Group on Sanitation and WASH Sector Emergency Response Working Group.

 Launching the campaign at the popular Jabi Motor Park in Abuja, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, said the initiative was aimed at sensitising Nigerians on the need for proper washing of the hands towards preventing further spread of the Ebola.

Ochekpe, lauded the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health towards curtailing the spread of the disease in Lagos and across the country at large, and urged Nigerians to ensure that they continue to properly wash their hands with soap and running water; as well as improved personal hygiene, as a means of keeping themselves safe from the virus that may cause the disease.

 The minister said a borehole would be sunk at the park to ensure improved personal hygiene among travelers and other users of the facility.

 The highlight of ceremony was the symbolic washing of hands by the minister, the National Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Abuja Chapter, Mr. Olugbade Olagunju; Country Representatives of WaterAid, Mr. Michael Ojo, and his UNICEF counterpart, Dr. Jean Gough, who was represented at the forum, among others.

 In a related development, the minister said government would source $ 1bn from development partners to procure additional facilities which would help boost water supply in the country.

 Disclosing this at the Third Workshop on Performance, Assessment, Benchmarking and Governance Issues of Water Agencies in Nigeria, she said since the commencement of the Water Sector Reform Programme in 2004, close to $ 1bn in loans and grants had been sourced by the government from the World Bank, African Development Bank, ADB, French Development Agency, Islamic Development Bank, European Union, EU, and United States Agency for International Development, USAID, for its implementation in 12 states.

 Represented by a director in the ministry, Mr. Daniel Daudu, the minister said the achievements recorded so far in the implementation of the programme indicated that if up-scaled, Nigeria would be better in terms of the national drive for improved quality water for the people.

 She said: “The level of success being recorded in the implementation of the programme has given us the confidence to plan and support the process of upscaling it to cover water supply and irrigation development in additional twelve states and two River Basin Development Authorities.

 “When the on-going processes mature, additional facilities of about one billion dollars will be further sourced from the partners”, she added.

 Ochekpe stressed that the objective of the programme was not only to improve potable water supply to the citizens, but also enhance the performance of state water agencies for sustainable water service delivery, maintaining that the reform programme covered infrastructure development, public private partnership development, institutional strengthening and capacity building.

Source: Daily Times
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