Due to the tremendous health benefits being recorded, communities in Kolokuma -Opokuma and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State have commended the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) over the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) initiative in the area.
In a chat with THISDAY, during a field trip, a community personality recently commended the WASH Unit an arm of UNICEF for the great impact the programme has made on the indigenes.
Paramount Ruler and King, Akanranbiri Community under Kolokuma-Opokuma LG, Mr. Malick Tuduowei Pamosai during the chat said UNICEF did a good job with the introduction of Bio Sand Water filter, which led to taking of clean and safe water, and at the same time, saved a huge amount of money.
“I and my family have saved a lot for that purpose because we no longer take sachet or bottled water since this Bio Sand Water filter was introduced to us,” Pamosai said. He also added that their healthy lifestyle has also improved unlike before when they were prone to all kinds of sicknesses and diseases.
Meanwhile the Chairman, WASH Community Gbaran-Mma town; Mr. Raphael Weris in his appreciation, noted that the area was backward in the area of water sanitation and open defecation until UNICEF came to their rescue.
He pointed out that progress has been made since the introduction of WASH to the communities because they have been enlightened on how to keep their environment and water clean by constructing toilets for their use.
“Through them, there was enlightenment on how to keep our water clean by making use of toilets instead of defecating and throwing it into the water as was the order of the day before the WASH awareness campaign,” he said.
Weris disclosed that the community in collaboration with UNICEF dug several boreholes towards improving the community’s clean water consumption for years now and that life has been better ever since.
At Sambo-Ama community in Twon-Brass the story was no different as a lot of the inhabitants applauded the WASH projects in the area. One of the community members, Mr. Bennett Inemo said proper hygiene has been brought to them with the introduction of WASH projects.
“Before the initiative, we used to defecate in the open and sometimes in the water but that’s a thing of the past now because we dig and bury it in the ground anytime we defecate,” he said.
On safe drinking water, Inemo posited the idea has also saved him and his family a lot of money because they no longer buy from sources they do not know how it was produced but now drink from rain water after treatment. On hand washing, he averred that they used to think that washing of hands without soap was okay but found out germs still harboured there.