UNICEF Brings Succour To Benue Councils

UNICEFTHE United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has sunk seven motorised boreholes and over 300 hand pumps for various communities in Oju Local Council area of Benue State.

The gesture is part of its determinations to ensure availability of potable water supply and proper hygienic environment, especially in rural communities.

The UN body has also supported over 30 primaries schools, in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene by building latrines, provision of hand-washing facilities, as well as boreholes.

This according to the Head of Department of water, sanitation and hygiene in the council, Odike Godwin, has made over 200 communities to attain free open defecation status with a target to ensure the whole council becomes open defecation-free in due course.

He told The Guardian in an interview in Oju that his department, with the support of UNICEF has set up a management structure of rural water, sanitation and health to sensitise the people on the need to stop open defecation, which pollutes the environment, especially when it rains.
Before now, Oju had been on record as one of the places with the highest rate of guinea worm, due to poor and unhygienic sources of water, this necessitated the Gowon foundation to give special attention to the area to reduce the rate of effect on the people.

Some of the communities that have benefited from the UNICEF intervention are Adagede Ibila, Ugbouku, Efa Ibila and Ibila Alukpo. Others are Anyiogbu, Nwannune, Tiogh Tyu, Uchi and Mbadeem in Oju and Tarkaa local councils, respectively.

In the same vein, 10 public health care centres have been selected to benefit from the intervention programme and it is expected that renovation work will be carried out with equipment and drugs provided in order to improve on service delivery.

Tarkaa alone, according to the UNICEF Coordinator, Mrs. Joy has over 250 hand pumps scattered over different rural communities, with latrines and sensitiSation efforts on going to ensure public health safety standards.
A community health worker in Nwannune, Tyohemba Igbalumun who spoke with The Guardian expressed satisfaction with the level of intervention in the area of sensitisation in primary schools and called for sustenance of the programme.

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