The European Union/United Nation Children Fund (EU/UNICEF) Niger Delta Support programme (NDSP) in collaboration with the Bayelsa state government, on Wednesday celebrated this year Global hand washing day with children from Kolukuma/Opokuma local government area of the state.
With the theme, ‘Our Hands, Our Future’ children from the various primary schools in the local government were taught on the importance of washing their hands regularly to avoid diseases that could hamper their future.
The event which began on Monday with awareness and sensitization campaign carried out by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) unit of the local government area, was rounded off at the headquarters in Kaima.
Speaking at the occasion, the Bayelsa State Consultant for UNICEF, Bright Nwaonu, said the global hand washing day is an event set aside by United Nation to sanitize the people of the World on the need to wash their hands regularly.
He said since 90 percent of our daily activities involves our hands, there was the need to wash the hands regularly to avoid contacting unseen germs which causes life threatening diseases like typhoid, eye infection and intestinal related diseases.
He said, “UNICEF involvement in most interventions in the country centred mostly on children and women we have in our communities so anything you find yourself in the midst of children, it was a thing of joy because whatever we are doing is for the interest of this vulnerable one who we believe by tomorrow will be the leaders of this country.”
Speaking at occasion, the chairman of Kolokuma Local Government Area, Wisdom Fafi, said it was a good thing that pupils from primary schools are carried along as they will grow to imbibe the habit of washing their hands and also act as agents of change.
While thanking the European Union and UNICEF for the laudable program, he said there is no doubt that the end of the day, more of the persons present will catch ‘virus’ of hand washing and help speed the messages.
In his key note address, Gilbert Mein, Head, Environmental Health Services of the local government, said that the global hand washing day was initiated by the Global Hand Washing Partnership with over 100 organizations.
He said, “Clean hands is great for you as an individual, it is also help build a healthy society, if every one develop the habit of cleaning his/her hands regularly. With increasing air pollution, we need to wash our hand so that we can be free from avoidable diseases.