Magnus Eze in Abakaliki
The activities marking this year’s Mgbom N’Achara Day in Okposi, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, ended on a wonderful note with a resolve by the community to preach against open defecation especially around the schools.
Speaking at the inauguration of a block of 4 water cistern toilet facilities at Mgbom Central School, a public health expert, Dr. Laz Eze explained that he decided to build the toilet facilities because of his passion for health and education development.
“I grew up practicing open defecation. The primary school I attended did not have toilet facilities. So, I fully understand the inconvenience the pupils and their teachers encounter and also the risks of sustaining injuries, attack by wild animals and even sexual harassment or rape associated with open defecation. The environmental pollution also poses health risks to members of the community and may have adverse effects on the performance of students in schools. I’m really excited that this toilet will save the pupils and their teachers from the health risks associated with open defecation, improve sanitation in the school, ensure a cleaner environment and contribute towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals”, Dr. Eze said.
He gave the credit to Rotary eClubOne for sponsoring the project through its 2017/2018 International Service Grant and the African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD) for leading the implementation.
Eze also expressed gratitude to the community for their cooperation and ensuring the success of the Mgbom N’Achara Schools Sanitation (MASS) Project.
He announced a donation of information/education materials (notebooks, stickers, calendar, etc) and sanitation equipment including waste baskets, waste bags, packers, buckets and locally constructed hand washing facilities to the four schools in the community.
In his remarks, Lt. Col. Igwe Omoke, who performed the inauguration on behalf of the leadership of Mgbom N’Achara Development Union (MADU), thanked Dr Eze for demonstrating his love for the community and described his gesture as an action worthy of emulation.
The commissioning was followed by handover of keys to the school authorities and training of pupils on the proper use of the toilet and sanitation facilities. The school had existed for over 50 years without a toilet facility.
Earlier, MADU Vice President, Okezie Ugwu, Omoke and other leaders of the community had inspected a renovated classroom block at Ikwuano Primary School, an Information Communication Technology Centre, there and a completed Examination Hall at Mgbom N’Achara Comprehensive Secondary School, Obuegu, where they expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done and commended all members of the community who helped to make the projects possible.
The day’s programme climaxed with a thanksgiving service at the Community Civic Centre site, Enunwagba.
It was a memorable outing as Christian leaders from the community led by Rev. Dr. Johnson Odii offered prayers for the peace and sustainable development of the community.
President General of the community, Chukwuemeka Eze, whose address was presented by his vice, Ugwu, said they had every reason to thank God.
“God has kept us indivisible and as four kindred and eleven villages for this length of time; we survived the 25-year intra-communal land dispute that tore the community apart between the ‘70s and the ‘90s; we survived the Ezeship tussle, which created cracks in our community for about a decade; we have survived the factionalisation of our town union, and the frequent squabble between the traditional institution and the town union.
“After 90 years, the community has moved from Akpameka (as the only Assembly Ground of our people to Enu Nwagba, where we intend to build a modern Civic Centre; we have moved from a people haunted by extreme poverty to a people where prosperity has become a possibility,” he enthused.