By Kingsley Ezekwelu : Wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs)Ebelechukwu Obiano has expressed appreciation to the European Union(EU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) for honouring her recently as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador.
The honour which no doubt added another bright feather to her cap has once again thrown up the superlative performance of her husband’s administration in Anambra state to the world stage, especially in the face of obvious cash crunch and biting economic recession in the country.
Savouring the auspicious moment, Mrs Obiano declared, “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).”
According to her, “…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.
She also noted 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.”
Her efforts, particularly through CAFE has been complementing the humane, selfless, compassionate and passionate roles of the state governor in reaching out to the various communities with social infrastructure.