FG, Development Partners donate hand washing facilities to Kuje Correctional centre
The Federal Government in partnership with some development partners has donated handwashing stations and cleaning materials to the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje in the FCT.
This event was done to commemorate the 2020 Global Handwashing Day, with the theme, ‘Hand Hygiene For All’.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said that the joint efforts of government and all stakeholders at all levels in raising awareness on handwashing at critical times would lead to the needed behavioral change.
According to him, in celebration of this year’s global handwashing day, the theme of ‘leaving No One Behind’ in achieving the sustainable development goals must be adhered to.
“Our visit today is to ensure that everyone, everywhere, including our inmates have access to hygiene facilities as a basic necessity.
“Handwashing with soap reduces the incidence of diarrheal diseases and the outbreak of many communicable distress such as Ebola, Lassa fever and the novel COVID-19 infections.
“We must ensure that opportunities for handwashing at critical times are provided at households, schools, health facilities, correctional facilities, work and other public places.
“These facilities should also be adapted for the use of people with disabilities to ensure their accessibility.
“We should try to eliminate existing disparities and inequalities in access as we promise effective handwashing,” the minister said.
Adamu said it was imperative to engage handwashing strategies that would be sustainable, noting that adoption of handwashing has been adjudged as the most inexpensive and effective ways to prevent disease, cutting diarrheal deaths by half.
The minister also commended the efforts of development partners in improving access to potable water and sanitation in parts of the country.
He said that Federal Government had also commenced the implementation of the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) projects in two pilot states of Ogun and Kano.
Adamu said that 12 additional states have signed the PEWASH Protocol and implementation was ongoing.
According to the minister, a total of 2,766 sanitation facilities and 1,844 handwashing stations have been constructed across the 36 states, located in schools, motor parks, markets and other public places.
The Controller General of Corrections, Jaafaru Ahmed, expressed delight at the visit, saying with the global pandemic of COVID-19, more awareness was being raised on the great role handwashing plays.
Ahmed, represented by Deputy Controller General, Yusuf Abubakar, said the centre had the statutory responsibility of holding and correcting offenders, hence it’s vulnerability to the novel corona virus.
The CG said in spite of the volatile situation, none of its centres had recorded any case of COVID-19.
He said that this was largely due to adherence to the guidelines and protocols of the Presidential Task Force on regular handwashing and use of face masks at all times.
Ahmed appreciated efforts of the judiciary for the effective use of noncustodial measures of community service for offenders, thereby reducing congestion that would have been recorded if they were all sentenced to custody.
UNICEF Chief of WASH, Mr Job Ominyi, said it was beautiful to see commitment and partnership from stakeholders in the Water and Sanitation sector, saying this should be further strengthened.
According to him, the UN agency will continue to support Nigeria to improve access to potable water and sanitation.
He said that UNICEF would donate additional gel and spray hand sanitisers to the centre.
Ominyi said that everyone had a role to play to promote handwashing culture through behavioral change, adding that handwashing was beneficial for everyone.