Obaseki kicks off ‘Operation Plan Edo’

•NEWMAP seeks media support to curb environmental hazards
•Tasks stakeholders on handwashing

Operation Plan Edo,’ an exercise aimed at recertifying building plans and collecting data on socio-economic needs of communities in Benin City, the capital will be kicked off by the state government The Trumpet gathered.

Commissioner for Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, during a press briefing, said the exercise, which will commence in the Ugbor area of Benin City, is an expansion of the ‘Operation Show Your Building Plan.’

She thanked those who have complied with ‘Operation Show Your Building Plan’ exercise, assuring that all applications have been fast-tracked and that over 400 approvals will be granted to those who have already gone through the process.

She noted that the state government through the programme will be able to collate needs of communities which in turn will enable it to provide relevant services to Edo people. According to her, “The programme enables the government to know what services and infrastructure the people need. The ‘Operation Plan Edo’ will involve various ministries, such as Education, Roads and Bridges, Health, Power, among others”.

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She called on citizens to cooperate with officials of the ministries and provide necessary information to help plan the city and State in line with the 30-year master plan. Condemning attacks on its staff by residents, she warned: “Edo State Government frowns at the attack on Staff of Ministry of Planning, Urban and Regional Planning on duty.

Government is concerned about the ugly incident and has vowed to bring the perpetrators to book to serve as deterrent to others.” Meanwhile, Edo State Coordinator of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Dr. Tom Obaseki, has canvassed media collaboration in driving the conversation on flood control as the rains intensify.

Obaseki made the submission at a flood engagement workshop organised by the agency in Benin City, the Edo State capital. He stressed that beyond government action and infrastructural intervention, there was need for all stakeholders, particularly the media to continue to sensitize the people so they can take ownership of flood control efforts and change their attitude towards environmental protection.

According to him, “The media has a crucial role in spreading information in bridging the knowledge gap and enhancing public awareness. The media chooses which issues to highlight to its viewers and how to frame them, influencing what people perceive to be a priority.

“When the public discussion about a particular topic is structured in such a way that it creates a sense of outrage and menace, people will put pressure on their leaders to put that issue at the top of the political agenda. “The manner in which the media presents information shapes audience perceptions. When communicating a message, the media transmits not just the content of the message, but also their interpretation of it.”

Highlighting the state government’s intervention in tackling erosion in the state, Obaseki said that the state government has built a total length of over 40 kilometers of secondary drains. “We have built a total length of over 40kms of secondary drains. This excludes over 400km constructed by other ministries and agencies; over 14kms of primary stormwater culverts, drains and over 4km of earth storm water channels.

This is more than what has been done by any other government in the history of the state. On his part, the Resident Engineer and ZUTARI Consultant, Mr Almeroux Loubser, said global warming has contributed to the excessive rains while advocating for use of green energy solutions to reduce burning of fossils.

Also, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ESPHCDA) has urged stakeholders to collaborate with the government across all levels to sustain awareness campaigns on regular hand washing to prevent diseases.

The Executive Secretary, ESPHCDA, Dr. (Mrs.) Otaniyenuwa Obarisiagbon, made the submission in commemoration of the 2022 World Hand Hygiene Day in Benin City. She urged healthcare workers, parents and other stakeholders to adopt the culture of washing hands frequently in order to prevent diseases. She said, “Healthcare workers are to ensure proper handwashing with soap and water before contact with patients, before a sceptic procedure, after contact with patients’ body fluids, and after leaving the patients surrounding in line with the World Health Organisation’s 5 moments of hand hygiene.

“This will help protect the health worker as well as oth ers from diarrheal diseases, Covid-19 and others. The use of liquid soap for hand washing is better than bar soap, especially in our health facilities.” Obarisiagbon noted, “When the hands are visibly dirty, washing hands with soap should be done rather than using alcohol-based hand sanitisers.” She added, “Special attention should be paid to the fingertips, the thumbs, the inter digital spaces between our fingers, the back of our hands, and our wrists when washing our hands.

After hand washing, hands can be air dried or single use hand towels should be used to dry our hands. The hand towels should be washed after use and not shared with others.” “We must avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands to avoid infecting ourselves.”

She urged, “Mothers of children less than 5 years old must remember to wash their hands after changing their diaper and before preparing food for their children. “Let’s remember to wash our hands before we eat, after using the convenience (rest room), and before and after contact with a sick person,” the Executive Secretary added.

According to her, “the celebration helps to increase awareness on the importance of washing our hands regularly and ensure people of all levels work together to influence the culture of washing hands always. Washing of hands regularly is a simple and effective way to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.”

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