“The onus is on us to consistently work hard to guide our various families properly to a healthy society” – Osodieme Obiano
An Address by the Wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano on the Occasion of her Crowning as Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador by EU and UNICEF and the Presentation of Anambra Open Defecation Free (ODF) Road Map on 18th October 2016 at Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre Awka, Anambra State.
It is with a deep sense of humility that I express my sincerest gratitude to the EU delegation and UNICEF for bestowing the honour of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador on me here today.
I am particularly happy that this honour is coming at the instance of our development partners to bolster my devotion to the fulfillment of a mission I have long committed to – provision of water, promotion of hygiene and healthy living conditions for indigent widows and the less privileged in rural communities through my NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ).
I also note with great humility the presentation of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Road Map, an action which clearly validates our interventions and support of state government’s clean and healthy Anambra initiatives with the construction of CAFÉ Market Toilets in community markets across the three Senatorial Districts. It is also appropriate that we are today observing the 2016 Global Hand Washing Day with the theme “Make Hand Washing a Habit.” This auspicious event provides a veritable platform for strong advocacy as well as a head start for effective WASH campaign.
The importance of hygiene and cleanliness in our homes and communities is not lost on me as a mother and Ndi Nne Anambra as mothers to children who are the most vulnerable to water borne diseases. As a consequence we are aware that the onus is on us to consistently work hard to guide our various families properly to a healthy society. On a personal level, I feel particularly happy at the opportunity to expand the scope of CAFÉ’s advocacy and practical involvement in promoting a healthy and clean environment.
I therefore wish to declare that I wholly identity with the state’s vision and general objective under the European Union’s Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Phase II programme which is to build a state with sustainable, uninterrupted, adequate safe and affordable water supply where citizens are sanitarily responsible and environmentally friendly.
Also the specific objectives is to make clean portable water accessible and affordable to every citizen of the state, having a clean environment and reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases like cholera and diarrhea. Please rest assured that I am committed to spreading the gospel of clean and healthy Anambra to all nooks and crannies so as to promote the prevalence of good health amongst our people.
To underscore my readiness, it is important to mention some of the modest effort of my NGO CAFÉ at improving not just the living conditions of the helpless but in the provision of clean water. So far we have built and handed-over nine standard 2-Bed Room houses in Agulu, Alor, Amichi, Amorka, Enugwu-otu Aguleri, Ogbunike, Nri, Umunya and Awba-Ofemili. In the same vein,CAFÉ Market toilets have been completed at Eke Igwe Nteje, Afor Mbaukwu and Afor-Igwe, Umudioka while CAFE water projects are now spread across fifteen communities including special institutions. And there are more underway.
It is important to point out that these laudable interventions were made possible by the grace of God and dedication to the course even when it is clear CAFÉ has no funds or government support. But we were buoyed by the support and encouragement of my dear husband, our governor, Akpokuodike who graciously donated his salary to our charitable programmes and many distinguished donors who thought it noble to support our labour of love. Again I assure you that we will not relent in pursuit of the welfare of our people.
As I commend the Leader of EU Delegation, Country Representative of UNICEF Federal and State Ministries of Water Resources and all of you. I am reminded that in this time of economic challenges in our country there is a temptation to relegate acts of charity. I urge you all not to relent. Indeed this is the right time to persevere in giving.
CAFÉ remains open and accountable for all your support.
Thank you all!
Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano
Wife of the Governor, Anambra State