Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) joined the rest of the world to mark 2015 Global Handwashing with the theme “Raise a Hand for Hygiene”. It was an occasion to teach pupils and students from 10 government and private schools on how and when to wash their hands. The Global Handwashing Day is held every year on the 15th of October to draw attention to the need to undertake handwashing especially among children to reduce the spread of diseases such as diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.
Over the years, ANEEJ has been involved in water, sanitation and hygiene issues in the country. The establishment of Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), a coalition of over 300 NGOs working in the WASH sector in Nigeria was successfully achieved by ANEEJ. ANEEJ leading role in the sector led to the election of her Deputy Director as the chairman of Board of Africa Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW), a position he held successfully until recently. ANEEJ has also been working with UNICEF on community led total sanitation which is aimed at stopping open defecation, and also with school children in the area of promoting effective hand washing and the safe use of toilet. Seminar on handwashing and safe use of toilet was held in Benin City for school children in the wake of the EBOLA outbreak in Nigeria.
In commemoration of the Global handwashing DAY celebration for 2015, ANEEJ met with the following schools on hand washing both in urban and rural areas of Edo State; Okai Government Primary school, Osas group of schools, Rosie Marie International school, Midwest college, (Oredo local Government Area), Auntie Maria Nursery, primary and secondary school, Newsky International School, Christ model Academy, Urumwon Government primary school (EGOR local government area), Enosakhare government primary school and Arugie government primary school in Ovia North East Local Government area.
Some of the photographs taken at the event are shown below
Pupils and students of Rosie Marie International School, Benin City
Pupils of Enosakhare Primary school, Ovia North East Local Government Area
Handwashing with soap is the most effective way of preventing diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. It also reduces the number of deaths among children and contributes to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
Report prepared by Sandra Eguagie, ANEEJ Programme Officer – October 2015