Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has flagged off the National Youth Volunteer Programme for Hand Washing and Clean Nigeria Campaign in the sunshine state.
The programme is expected to engage 1,800 youth volunteers in the state, drawing 100 from each of the 18 local government areas of the state for community sensitisation.
Governor Akeredolu flagged off the programme on Wednesday at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure.
The Governor explained that the purpose of the programme is to ensure accelerated and effective hand-washing and clean environment that will promote public health and hygiene in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, reduce poverty as well as put an end to Open Defecation in Nigeria by 2025.
He stated that the development is aimed at declaring the Sunshine State Open Defection Free (ODF) before 2025.
Governor Akeredolu added that the state under his administration has consistently honoured the PEWASH Matching Counterpart Project.
Arakunrin Akeredolu further reiterated his administration’s committed to honouring and executing the health component of its REDEEMED Agenda which is “Effective Healthcare and Social Welfare Services”.
He explained that his administration has made necessary arrangements to construct and distribute 10,000 Santos/Stool Slabs to assist the less privileged in building and using good toilets.
According to him, over 3,000 hand-pumps and motorised boreholes have been rehabilitated in more than 2,000 communities across the State in the last four years.
“Please recall that we flagged off the Clean Ondo State Campaign in July 2020 and distributed over twenty motorcycles to designated officers referred to as Open Defecation Free Ambassadors (ODFA) in all the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo State.
“Our administration recognises the danger in compromising public health through open defecation and we are tackling it head-on through deliberate policies and programmes.
“It is for this reason that we are happy to acknowledge and commend the complementary roles of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and UNICEF in training the ODFA Ambassadors and WASH officers in the State towards further facilitating positive behavioural change in ending open defecation,” the Governor added.
Earlier, representative of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Peter Nwakpa, disclosed that the National youth volunteer programme is one of the interventions of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said 100 volunteers in each of the 774 Local Government Areas across the country would be engaged by the programme.
He added that the platform was invented to provide the needed supports to states and ensure that wash services were being prioritized as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response.