By Adejumoke Alebiosu
The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Ebonyi State, weekend, mobilized its corps members to strategic locations within the Abakaliki metropolis, including a school at Nkaliki Community, the popular Kpirikpiri Market, Pa Ngele Township Stadium and Abakaliki LGA, in continuation of her National Environmental Sanitation Exercise in the State.
The Corps members who were seen in their numbers cleaning gutters, sweeping and disposing of refuse, in order to ensure the cleanliness of their environment, explained that they were elated to be part of the call to serve the nation.
Speaking during the continuation of the Nationwide exercise at Abakaliki LGA, Ebonyi State, the Director-General, NYSC, Brig Gen. S. Ibrahim explained that environmental sanitation was one of the key requirements for the prevention of diseases and their escalation to epidemic proportion.
‘On this premise, efforts must be stepped up to enlighten the general public, especially the rural dwellers, on the health risks of poor hygiene with particular focus on the prevention of contamination of food, water and the entire environment.
‘The theme of this programme is Clean Environment/Good Hygiene: Panacea for Good Health and Long Life.’
The DG, in a statement delivered by the Ebonyi State Coordinator, NYSC, Mrs Mercy Bamai, added that for the sanitation exercise to be effective, “every member of the community will have to be mobilized for participation in the exercise, which will feature sensitization, disease surveillance and report of outbreaks.”
According to him, ‘the call to action will promote cooperation and reduce indifference and ignorance.’
‘A good example is seen in the robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with awareness on disinfection of the environment – living rooms, toilets public spaces; handling of toxic materials; susceptibility and risky habits; how best to handle bush burning, pollution and waste disposal; and Tree planting to support health ecosystem.
‘It is heart-warming to note that communities that benefited from the NYSC HIRD Medical Outreaches have been sharing testimonies of the enormous impact of the programme. I wish to assure Nigerians that we will not rest on our oars as we continue to offer health and other services, including environmental protection.
‘I am particularly hopeful about the prospects of this exercise because, with regular sanitation, malaria and other related diseases will be reduced to the barest minimum.
Let me use this opportunity to once again thank the State Governments, traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders for supporting this noble cause.
‘I must also commend NYSC Staff and Corps members for demonstrating the zeal to contribute towards ensuring a healthy and stable environment. In particular, I appreciate the unrelenting efforts of the Director and Staff of the Community Development Service and Special Projects Department as well as NYSC State Secretariats nationwide to successfully implement this programme. I earnestly look forward to the much-anticipated outcomes of the exercise.’