Posted by Okee Sydney-Obiukwu, Lagos | 27 October 2014 | 3,907 times
The Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has gone into partnershp with Caring Sisters Association with a view to improving sanitation and preventing the spread of communicable diseases, especially Ebola Virus, in Lagos State. Caring Sisters Association, based in Lagos, is a charitable organisation focused on caring for the less privileged people in the society, creating awareness, especially on communicable diseases, and generally sensitising the public on welfare issues in the society.
Speaking during the maiden public enlightenment by both organisations held at the LAWMA premises in Ogudu, Mrs. Tolulope Adeoyo, Manager, Recycling for LAWMA, explained: “This particular collaboration is geared towards preventing diseases. It is an issue of public health. When the public is healthy, the environment is safer and the society and the economy can actually move forward. As we all know, the Ebola threats that we had recently was really scary for the Nigerian environment.”
According to Mrs. Adeoyo, Lagos was actually the case study in managing the disease outbreak in the country. “For us in LAWMA, our watchword is a clean environment. Making sure that waste does not litter the environment,” she said, adding:
“One of the ways these communicable diseases actually get to humans is through our way of life. So if we are able to talk to ourselves and we are able to create awareness on how to live properly and to take care of our environment when it comes to drainages, our canals, how we package our waste; we would succeed in getting the message across to the public and also save our people from all these communicable diseases.”
In her own speech, the President of Caring Sisters Association, Mrs. Mercy Okoye, said that the association is into touching lives. “We have been to so many orphanages trying the best we can to help them and it has been a wonderful experience in the eleven years of our existence,” she said.
Mrs. Okoye stated that this year’s programme was particularly targeted to positively affect the environment. According to her, there is need for people to keep their homes and offices clean. By doing all these, she stated, the Nigerian public would live a healthier life and also succeed in avoiding diseases.
Mrs. Okoye stressed that it is important that they tell the people about the simple ways to maintain personal hygiene and also keep their environment healthy to prevent the spread of Ebola.
“We have our anniversary every year. This is part of what we have for this year,” she said.
Mrs. Okoye disclosed that their target audience is the people in the immediate environment: “People that we can see everyday. People that we know their habits. For instance, I own a shop and we experience a lot of carelessness on the part of owners of shops. Some of them don’t border to clean their environment. Some of them even on the mandatory market clean-ups on Thursdays, don’t even come to clean their environment.” Even some of the residents, she said, “are very reluctant to pay the people clearing the waste around us.”
Mrs. Okoye also disclosed that owners of schools have been told to provide facilities that will prevent their children from contracting the Ebola disease, adding that most of the schools now have in place, the facilities to prevent the deadly decease.
Mrs Ifeoma Agbasi, Social Media Secretary of the association, threw more light on the activities of the NGO, stating that their goal is to touch the lives of the vulnerable and those who can’t help themselves like orphans and widows, and generally encouraging people around them.
“If people around you are okay, you too will be okay. We care. The partnership with LAWMA, we have been trying to organise for a while now. We actually wanted to have it earlier than this, especially when Ebola came up. We also wanted to educate people on what they can do to prevent Ebola. Also, we wanted to tell people how to recycle and the profitability in it,” she said.
Mrs. Agbasi said that as long as it has to do with caring for people in the neighbourhood, Caring Sisters will always look for things that they can do to improve the lives of people around them, especially the less privileged in society.
•Photo shows president of Caring Sisters Association, Mrs. Mercy Okoye.
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