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Ondo Traditional Rulers Beg Govt for Potable Water

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The monarch of Iju-Odo Community in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Festus Olumoyegun, and some traditional chiefs from the neighbouring communities have appealed to the government at all levels to provide potable water in their communities.

The traditional ruler pointed out that lack of adequate water and sanitation were also major causes of other diseases such as typhoid and cholera, hence the need for the stakeholders to assist the community in the area of access to potable water.

Oba Olumoyegun, and the traditional chiefs made the call on Thursday at the official launch of boreholes project for primary health care centres and public schools at Iju Ondo and Ilu-titun- Osooro Communities.

The boreholes were donated to the communities by a non-governmental organisation, HACEY Health Initiative. The projects were sited at the five primary schools and five primary health care centres in the affected communities.

The monarch, who was represented by the Oniogbe of Monogbe, town, Chief Omodele Adebayo, lamented that the communities fetched their water for drinking and domestic use from the streams, describing the development as unsafe.

“The cost of sachet water in this community rises from N10 to N20 and most of our people cannot afford the sachet water at that price. We are always worried about what the situation may lead to.

“The primary health care centre here and most part of the community has been suffering, but thank God for this intervention because this will pave way for our people to come here and get portable water.

“The government has been doing well but key stakeholders across different sectors should increase investment in water, sanitation and hygiene for women and children especially those in rural and underserved communities as this, I believe this will go a long way in achieving a healthy and productive society.

“No doubt, Iju-Odo has portable water challenge. Most of our people do go to the stream to fetch water, but with this, we can smile a bit and I want to assure this NGO that we will make proper use of this project. I am appealing to all sons and daughters of this community to fast track this kind of project.”

In his remarks, the Executive Director, HACEY Initiative, Rhoda Robinson said the initiative was aimed at improving access to safe water for communities, health workers and pregnant women.

Represented by the Programme Manager of the organisation, Chioma Osakwe, the director said the clean water initiative came after it had been discovered that most communities were not having access to portable water.

She said, “You go to most communities and you see that they have access to water but not portable water. You see a situation where you see high incidences of water-borne diseases, diarrhoea, children under the age of five years dying from direct diseases, this is not supposed to be in this century and time.

“We work with the ministry of education and health because this project is for public schools and health centres. So, we reach out to the ministries and they recommended what communities to work with and I must confess that the process has been seamless.

“This project has been running since 2017 and so far, we’ve been able to provide access to portable water in 90 communities across Nigeria. This year, the project was for 10 communities. We did four here in Ondo state, comprising of Okitipupa and Irele LGAs.”

  1. Robinson, who called for collaboration between government and communities to guarantee project sustainability, noted that the initiative would boost the supply of hygienic water, sanitation and reduce infections in communities.
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