A guaranteed Civil Society Organisation for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Effective Water Sanitation Hygiene (E-WASH), Community and Youth Development Initiative (CYDI) on Friday, October 16, at the Orlu Local Government headquarters, sensitized physically challenged persons in Orlu Local Government Area on proper and effective method of handwashing and donated sanitizers and tap bearing handwashing buckets to them.
Fielding questions from our correspondent after the sensitization programme, Okechukwu Okoro, monitoring and evaluation officer of CYDI said, “This week, precisely yesterday, the world celebrated global handwashing day and in commemoration of the event, we are highlighting the importance of handwashing to every citizen of Orlu, especially this period of Covid 19 pandemic.
“We thought it wise to invite people with disability. We have been carrying most of our activities and campaigns in schools, but today we decided to invite those with special needs, to enlighten them more on this very crucial aspect of our daily lives, as well as know some of their needs, try to advocate for them and find solutions to some of the challenges”.
He said his organization has been implementing E-WASH programmes in Orlu zone for the past one year.
Reacting to the programme, chairman of persons living with disabilities in Orlu LGA, Chukwudi Ibeakanwa, appreciated CYDI for always carrying them along in their programmes and activities, during which they have learnt a lot. He prayed God to continue to give the organization and their sponsors the enablement to sustain the programme.
Other members of the physically challenged association who spoke included Igweka Chizoba and Ikenna Orisakwe who equally appreciated CYDI for remembering them. They beckoned on the CSO to be the voice that advocates for them in the issues of inclusion/ consideration of physically challenged persons in government programmes, policies and actions.
They said despite the repeated advocacy for persons with disabilities to be considered while building public facilities, most governments and organizations have continued to treat it with levity.
In the same vein, the Global Health Awareness Research Foundation, (GHARF), another guaranteed Civil Society Organisation (CSO) working in Okigwe zone commemorated the international day of the girl child and global hand washing day, which is celebrated every October 15.
Speaking, Cornell Ekeh, GHARF Programme Officer, pointed out that some schools; First Step Primary School, Queen of Apostle Secondary School and Anglican Secondary School as well as Mechanic Village were visited and sensitized on thorough regular hand washing to prevent disease and stay safe and healthy always.
Ekeh highlighted that the sensitisation campaign was flagged off by the Interim Management Committee Chairman of Okigwe local government area of Imo State, Lady Nkechi Mbonu, who was represented by Emeka Mmere.
Reminding the people of the importance of hygiene, the representative of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Theophilus Uka, E- WASH Coordinator, Okigwe, Sylvester Chukwu and Chibundu Uchegbu, told them to always imbibe the culture of washing their hands with soap and running water to avoid chronic disease.
The General Manager, Imo State Water and Sewerage Corporation, Emeka Ugoanyanwu, who was represented at the programme by Ukaoha Kenneth, hinted that government partners USAID, E- WASH, GHARF and other relevant agencies to ensure the availability of clean and safe water for the people, lauding the interventionist agencies for enlightening Okigwe residents on cleanliness and healthy living.