OKA (BENIN CITY) – As part of activities to mark the year 2021 World Water Day, with the theme: “Valuing Water,” Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) yesterday engaged over 850 community members of Oka 1 community in Ikpoba-Okha LGA in awareness campaign at the Oka market and tested about 50 persons for various ailments including Blood Pressure, sugar level and prostrate cancer.
The awareness campaign which centred principally around water sources, uses and importance also harped on sanitation and hygiene and it took LAPO officials round the popular Oka market in Ikpoba-Okha LGA with Ikpoba-Okha LGA officials from the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Department also taking their turns to enlighten traders on the importance of water.
Welcoming participants to the event, the Acting Executive Director, LAPO, Dr. Honestus Obadiora Ayobami represented by LAPO Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Project Officer, Onuorah Awele Vivian declared that 80 countries of the world now have water shortage and this is reflecting through their health and economies.
Dr. Ayobami asserted that it has been estimated that about 60% of all the diseases in the developing countries are related to unsafe water supply and inadequate sanitation.
While maintaining that water scarcity poses a great risk and stress to human society, the Executive Director stressed that the use of contaminated drinking water-borne diseases, including diarrhea, malaria, measles, typhoid fever, cholera, shigellosis, polio meningitis, hepatitis A and B, dysentery and pneumonia. He added that regrettably, infants, children and people with weakened immune systems are the most affected.
According to him, the lack of accessible, reliable and safe drinking water, together with poor sanitation and hygiene is estimated to cost Nigeria about USD $1.3billion in access time, loss due to premature death, productive time lost and health care costs.
Dr. Ayobami explained that to mitigate the impact of poor sanitation and hygiene in target areas, LAPO is engaged in the sensitization of community members across the country on the need to protect water sources and keep water safe during transportation and storage.
In her remarks, the HOD, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Department, Ikpoba-Okha LGA, Mrs. Osareniye Isibor commended LAPO for the awareness campaign adding that water is essential to life while hygiene practices help to minimise health complications.
Also commenting, Sanitarian F.I Iyamun, Desk officer, WASH Department, Ikpoba-Okha LGA who joined LAPO officials in the awareness campaign appreciated LAPO for the initiative and sued for sustenance.
Highpoint of the event was test conducted on participants for sugar level, Blood Pressure and prostrate cancer. Some of the beneficiaries, including Mr. Jude Eze (prostrate cancer-free); Okunoghase Osayande (BP); Mrs. Ikuobare Blessing (Sugar Level and (BP) and Vero Iruezor all were thankful to LAPO for conducting tests on them free of charge and sued for substance.