Jigawa Celebrate GHWD

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Global Handwashing Day was created at the annual World Water Week, held in Stockholm from August 17 to 23, 2008. The campaign was initiated to reduce childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases by introducing simple behavioural changes – hand washing with soap. This simple, accessible action can, according to research, reduce the rate of mortality from these diseases by almost 50 per cent.  The 2015 edition of Global Handwashing Day in Jigawa State was held in Galadanchi Primary School, Dutse LGA on 15th October.

The activity was attended by over 1,000 students and community members. Also in attendance were the Chairman House Committee on water resources, Honourable Commissioner and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, State UNICEF Coordinator, representative of the Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Health, representatives of the Honourable Commissioner and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, representative of the Executive Secretary SUBEB, the village head of Galadanchi village, School Based Management Committee (SBMC), Galadanchi primary school members, zonal WCA chairmen, students and teachers from neighbouring primary schools, PD WSSSRPII, managing directors of state water agencies as well as directors from water sectors and other ministries.

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The DAF Ministry of water resources gave the welcoming address. The DAF in his address welcomed and thanked everybody in attendance for sparing the time to attend this very important occasion, and also acknowledged the fact that the presence of such important dignitaries will undoubtedly give the campaign a wider coverage.

The IPE WSSSRP II for Jigawa State, Engr. Nasser Yakubu explained the purpose and objectives of the occasion which is to demonstrate the handwashing techniques, and to point out the need to sensitize and mobilize communities to adapt and practice the habit of handwashing with soap or ash and clean water especially at critical times, with emphasis on children who are change agents. He urged all participants to convey all the massages on Handwashing to the people in their community.

Other dignitaries also reiterated the importance of hand-washing and the health benefits of such practices. The dignitaries include: the director sanitation and hygiene SUBEB Alhaji Aliyu Musa, who represented the Honourable commissioner and permanent secretary ministry of education; the representative of the permanent secretary ministry of health, Alhaji Samaila Mamuda; the permanent secretary Ministry of Environment who made a presentation on preserving the environment through effective hygiene promotion.

There were goodwill messages from the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment; Honourable Commission for health, ably represented by the Deputy Director maternal and child health Hajiya Nafisa Sulaiman from Gunduma Health System Board, an agency under the ministry of health.  Their messages explained government’s effort towards improving the quality of lives of the people in Jigawa state.

The state UNICEF Assistant Programs Coordinator mentioned the good partnership between the Jigawa State government and development partners such as UNICEF and EU in the provision of water in rural, small towns and urban settings. He also talked on hygiene promotion and education e.g. community total led sanitation, and community engagement.

A representative of Water Consumers Associations (WCA), who is the Zonal Coalition Chairman of Birnin kudu zone, delivered a good will massage. He said that formation of WCAs and Volunteer Hygiene Promoters has proven to be a good mechanism towards sustaining water supply and sanitation services, as well as community participation and involvement which is a key factor in sustaining all programs.

Handwashing Demonstration

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The state Community Mobilizer WSSSRPII, and Director community mobilization sanitation and hygiene explained and demonstrated the techniques and stages of Handwashing with soap and ash and enough clean water in front of the audience. The Chairman House Committee on Water Resources, and Honourable Commissioner of Environment also demonstrated in the same way

After the demonstrations, Ajawa Primary School pupils joined their counterparts from Galadanchi Primary School in celebrating the day. They sang a song on the importance of handwashing and critical times to wash hands. The message in the song was well articulated, sufficient enough to pass the required information.

Galadanci primary school pupils then staged a drama to demonstrate how to wash hands. The drama focused on two families, where one is practicing handwashing and the other not washing their hands. And the effects of both habits were seen on the two families. The drama was well performed by the pupils who attracted the attention of the audience.

The state governor, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Water Resources, delivered a speech after the performances. He then pointed out that handwashing is the first line of action in prevention and defence against diseases. He opined that provision of water and sanitation facilities alone cannot guarantee a healthy society, unless the society backs up the gesture with good hygiene and sanitation practices. He affirmed the commitment of His Excellency the state governor Alhaji Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar’s towards improving water, sanitation and educating the populace on hygiene practices.

Presentation of Handwashing materials and posters

Handwashing materials consisting of bucket with tap head, together with soap and posters on handwashing techniques were presented to the schools. The items were co-sponsored by the state and supported by the EU WSSSRPII.

About 2,000 handwashing posters in both Hausa and English languages (adopted from the GHWD website) were supplied by WSSSRP II. The posters were presented to the schools and community by the representative of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of Jigawa State. Some of the posters were pasted at the school walls, on trees, on latrine walls and inside classrooms. Posters were also given to community members and pupils to fix at homes and public places. The WCA representatives from small towns in Taura and Malam Madori were also given 20 posters each to use in schools, markets and public places when they go back their small towns.

The description of the messages is as follows:

Messages on Posters

Sn. English Poster Hausa Poster
1 Always Wash Your Hand Before Handling Food Akasance Ana Wanke Hannu Da Ruwa Koda Yaushe Kafin A Taba Abinci
2 Always Wash Your Hand After Using the Toilet Akasance Ana Wanke Hannu Da Ruwa Koda Yaushe Bayan An Fito Daga Ban Daki
A Use Enough Water to Wash Your Hands Ajika Hannu Da Isasshen Ruwa Kafin A Saka Sabulu Ko Toka
B For at Least 20 Seconds A Murza Kumfar Sabulu Ko Toka Har Tsawan Sakan Ashirin
C Rinse with Running Water A Dauraye Hannu Ko Yaushe Da Ruwa Mai Gudanawa
  CLEAN HANDS SAVES LIFE TAAFTACECCEN HANNU YANA BADA KARIYA A RAYUWA

 

WSSSRP II donated 17 cartons of soap to the schools to encourage handwashing amongst the pupils. The soap was presented to the schools by Alhaji Sani Ishaq, Honorable Member, and Chairman House Committee on Water Resources of the Jigawa Satte House of Assembly. The donation was received by the Head teacher. The following day, Friday, 16 October, 2015, the soap was distributed to all pupils of the school so that they can practice hand washing at their homes.

50 handwashing buckets were distributed to the schools at Galadanchi and Ajawa primary schools. It was agreed that each class room will have a handwashing bucket and soap which the pupils can use on return from the latrines.

Refreshment

Refreshment was then served to the school pupils and the audience. This was also used to demonstrate the practice of handwashing with soap before eating snacks.

Closing Remarks

The MD STOWA urged the pupils to continue the habit of hand washing beyond the day’s celebration, and to carry the message to their respective houses and to always keep in their mind what happens to those who don’t practice hand washing especially at critical times. He also asked them to make good use of the materials given to them.

Closing prayer was offered by a director from the Ministry of Water Resources.

Radio coverage

The event was aired live by Radio Jigawa. Before then, in the early morning, around 8am, Freedom Radio aired an interview with MD STOWA who was accompanied by Engr. Sunday Shobowale where handwashing enlightenment was made. The IPE was also interviewed by Hausa and English service of the NTA Jigawa State Television Service. Jingles were aired by Radio Jigawa for some days after the ceremony.