By Lucky Isibor
Edo state government has concluded arrangements to ensure all Edo people have safe and clean water by December 2018.
The Commissioner for Energy and Water Resources, Prince Yekini Idaiye made this disclosure Monday, while making a commitment on behalf of the ministry at the sensitization of stakeholders on the draft Edo state priority plan to end violence against children organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in conjunction with Smile and ActionAid at the Best Western Homeville Hotel, Benin City.
The occasion which was attended by the Commissioner for Infrastructure, Hon. Osahon Amiolemen, Commissioner for Energy and Water Resources, Prince Yekini Idaiye, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon.(Mrs) Magdalene Ohenhen while the Commissioners for Justice and Attorney General, Education and Agriculture were represented.
Commissioner Idaiye added that to ensure that children in school are adequately protected, the ministry has also put measures in place to provide water and functional toilets in all public schools in Edo state so that they will have no reason to stray out of school during school hours.
The Commissioner also promised to support any decision that will assist in the protection of children at the level of the State Executive Council.
“By the end of 2018 there will be no water shortage in Edo state. The Governor has assured that by December 2018 there will be water for all in Edo state.
“We’re ensuring that we provide water and toilets in public schools and markets.
“We are working on all water pumping stations to ensure there is water for all by December 2018”, the Commissioner said.
Welcoming participants earlier, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen said the sensitization for Commissioners and heads of government Departments and Agencies was to ensure they are carried along as they are key decision makers in their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies. She enjoined them to make their contributions and input into the final draft of the document.
In her opening remarks, the Organizational Development Director of Smile, Maryaan Obidike said the goal of Smile project is to improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their care givers to be able to have a comprehensive and coordinated life style.
She disclosed that Smile project work are in the five states of Edo, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
“Smile project is basically with a goal of improving the well being of orphans and vulnerable children and their care givers to have a comprehensive and coordinated life style. We tend to see that the lives of orphans and vulnerable children and their care givers are well improved”
According to Obidike, the objectives of Smile project is to improve the states and local governments networks so that they are able to provide holistic care to orphans and vulnerable children and to build the capacity of civil society organizations so that they are able to deliver quality, coordinated, comprehensive and integrated service to orphans and vulnerable children and their care givers adding that Smile project has been in Edo state for four years now and working in eight local government areas.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure also made a commitment to support end violence against children by ensuring adequate Infrastructure are provided in schools to prevent the menace while the Commissioner for Justice assured that all violators will be brought to book.
On his part the Commissioner for Education said the ministry will ensure teachers key into the plan while parents will be sensitized at the level of Parents/ Teachers Association (PTA) on child protection strategies.