Reporter : CHINAZO ILECHUKWU
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in conjunction with UNICEF has re-intensified campaign against open defecation in rural communities of Imo State.
Addressing the people of Umukabia in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area during an advocacy visit, the Imo State Director of NOA, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha, expressed worry that despite the Executive Order 009 of 2019 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari to end open defecation, many families still engaged in indiscriminate disposal of human excreta.
He urged community leaders to adopt measures that would ensure that residents have access to decent toilet facilities to minimize infectious diseases.
Mr. Ekeocha warned that soon anybody caught engaging in open defecation would be punished by law enforcement agents and called on the private sector to consider establishing mobile toilets or construct toilets at strategic locations to minimize open defecation.
A UNICEF Consultant, Mrs. Ngozi Dike, appealed to the people of Umukabia to always seek health care in the primary health centre located in the area to improve their wellbeing.
Some members of the community, including Mrs. Veronica Ewelike and Mr. Chijioke Anyanwu, lamented the absence of doctors in the health centre cited in the area.
They also appealed to I State Government to make services at the centre more affordable to encourage the rural dwellers to seek attention whenever they became ill.
The people agreed to strengthen the Ward Development Committee set up in the area to facilitate immunization of children and make their health centre more functional.