Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), said it has commenced training of students on hygiene promotion in the over 260 government senior secondary schools in Rivers State.
PIND made the disclosure at a partnership event organized in Port Harcourt, to mark this year “Global Hand Washing Day”.
PIND represented, by Chime Asonye, at opening of the one day workshop said, the power to save the lives of millions is in the hands and the simple act of washing one’s hands with soap can dramatically reduce the incidence of diarrhea diseases and pneumonia, which together account for the majority of deaths of children around the world.”
Asonye said they are in with the Rivers State Government, Center for Information and Development and other partners to create Ambassadors of hygiene promotion in secondary schools who will go round their schools and communities in the state to sensitize the people on the need to maintain a healthy environment.
According to him the steady washing of hands and neat environment will fight against the scourge of diseases that circulate round the nation.
He said that one of their goals is to ensure that water, health and sanitation are sustainable for healthy environment and livelihood of the masses.
Asonye said: “We did an evident base neat assessment, and we embarked on partnership with the Rivers State Government and other partners because it is very important to guide our young ones growing up to imbibe on cleanliness and maintain hygiene in their schools and residential area for the future.
“We are basically trying to make sure that young people serve as Ambassadors inside the schools and as a matter of fact, all over Rivers state and their communities. We want to ensure that water, health and sanitation facilities and infrastructures are safe, secured and sustainable for the future.
“We have seen an outbreak of diseases in Nigeria, from Ebola to Monkey Pox. Water, health, sanitation at this particular point in time is very critical and the most important thing is that the Sustainable Development Goal is a global international call in order to enhance and domesticate sustainable development”, Asonye added.
Speaking at the event, Chairman, Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools Board, Chief David Briggs, appreciated all the partners in the project, saying that in few weeks, the advocacy on hand washing will be transmitted in all the secondary schools in the state, not minding the challenges faced by the state government.
Represented by Mr Ndubuisi Okere, Briggs noted that the Global Hand Washing Day has international recognition and assured that the state government, under Governor Nyesom Wike is always ready to give the enabling environment for the success of the project.
Briggs further disclosed that pupils and students at the primary school level have already imbibed hand washing habit.
He encouraged parents to help their children in practice of hygienic living, saying that “The role of parents on this issue should not be echoed on advocacy but should be a habit.”
On his part, President of Rotary club, GRA unit Port Harcourt, Jerus Uvieghara, said that Rotary International has issued a global challenge to Rotarians, asking them to work collectively to improve education quality and access, particularly for girls, by working with communities to provide improved WASH services, teacher training, and curriculum enhancement.
Uvieghara continued that as a humanitarian organisation, Rotarians have resolved to work together and focus their energy to achieve a common goal that integrates water, sanitation, and hygiene with basic education and literacy in the society.
Highlight of the event is a debate on general hygiene and hand washing between Government Technical College Port Harcourt and Okirika National Secondary School, Okirika.