Enugu State Government says it is partnering relevant agencies and cooperate bodies to adopt best sanitation practices to stamp out open defecation in all communities in the area. The Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Charles Egumgbe announced this in a message to an Open Defecation Free, ODF, Celebration in Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state.
ODF is a sanitation programme of the Enugu State Government geared towards educating the people on the need to stop open defecation.
The Commissioner was represented by the Coordinator, Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Unit in the Ministry, Mr. Christopher Ogbu, who enumerated cholera, diarrhea, typhoid and hepatitis epidemics as diseases associated with open defecation which had claimed the lives of many people.
Mr. Ogbu congratulated the eight communities in Nkanu East for attaining the Open Defecation Free status and presented them with certificate of recognition. They include Onueke Umunevo, Osusu Umunevo, Mbulu Owo/Mbulu Idodo and Ugwuogo/Igbobinagu.
Others are Ndiagu Umu Opara, Amangene, Amagunze Ihuogbo and Amagunze Obinagu. The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Nkanu East Local Government, Mr. Godwin Ikechukwu Ubagu promised to ensure the sustainability of the programme in the area.
Giving an overview of sanitation activities in Enugu State, a representative of the Community Health Initiative, CHI Nigeria, Mr. Ebuka Nnamchi commended the intervention of Water Aid and UNICEF in the State using community led- Total Sanitation to educate people to stop open defecation since two thousand and eight.
The programme according to Mr. Nnamchi started with five local government areas in the state which are: Igbo Etiti, Igboeze North, Igboeze South, Nkanu East and Udenu. A community leader from the area, Chief Sam Edeh expressed gratitude with the initiative of the State government which he said, would improve healthy living in their communities. Representatives of Water Aid Nigeria, the State Ministries of Education and Gender Affairs as well as Traditional Rulers graced the occasion.