The Enugu State Government has commended Umuogili-Amufie community for attaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
Mr Charles Egumgbe, the Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resource, spoke on Friday when the community was awarded a certificate for attaining ODF status.
ODF is being promoted by the Ministry of Water Recourses, in collaboration with WaterAid and UNICEF,
The aim is to actualise basic sanitation and hygiene for all before the year 2030.
The commissioner praised the community for accepting to do away with open defecation which is dangerous to human health.
“It has been discovered that many diseases which have claimed lives of millions of people were as a result of open defecation.
“ It exposes citizens to avoidable diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, hepatitis, among others.
“As we gathered here to celebrate Umuogili-Amufie that has attended ODF, it showed that we have mobilised ourselves to adopt the best sanitation practice that will stop open defecation in our communities.
“It is worthy to note that out of five clusters that were verified, only Umuogili-Amufie was certified ODF.
Mrs Janet Ngene, the Coordinator, Community Health Initiative (CHI), said that open defecation was still rampant in the country.
“The country is reported as the sixth among most people defecating in the open after India, Haiti, Togo, Nepal and Benin,’’ she said.
Mr Uwakwe Ezeja, Caretaker Chairman of Igboeze North, praised the people of Umuogili for turning a new leaf and embracing the ODF programme.
He urged them to sustain the status and promised to help the team in their campaign for improved sanitation for a healthy living.
The traditional ruler of the community, HRH Lawrence Ossai, who also spoke thanked the ODF team and promised that he would do all within his power to ensure that the community maintained the status. (NAN)