The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday, June 8, 2019, celebrated its 175 anniversary, Founder’s Day and was tagged YMCA World Challenge 2019. Its theme was “Environmental Hygiene, Clean Water & Good Sanitation in 175 Minutes.”
YMCA president, Dr. David Olugbade Fakeye, of the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, said: “YMCA World Challenge is our annual event to mobilise the YMCA movements to share their great impact with local communities, by embarking on community development advocacy on hygiene and good sanitation at Gege Olopa, as a case study, being one of the dirtiest communities in Ibadan, in Ibadan South-West Local Government.
“The YMCA members focused group discussions on environmental hygiene, clean water and good sanitation, 175 minutes community engagement, clean up and fumigation, road show and sensitisation, free clean water supply, free medical supplies, free distribution of mosquito nets and others.”
General Secretary, Mr. Funminiyi Fagbemi, said the objectives of the programme included transferred knowledge and understanding of hygiene and associated health risks to help people change their behaviour to use better hygiene practices; empower the community that will demand and achieve sustainable access to and use of safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene living condition; engage policy makers and key actors to promote and enable the sustainable realisation of the rights to water and sanitation through their policies, programmes, budget allocations and are held accountable for these achievements.
He said: “These objectives contribute directly to realisation of SDG6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). YMCA will apply intervention strategies that focus on civil society strength at community level.”
Earlier, at the stakeholders’ meeting with selected leaders at Gege Olopa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Gabriel Oguntola, represented by Adeyemo Adeyinka, noted: “We cannot be talking of clean water supply without proper environmental hygiene and good sanitation, however, open defecation is a critical issue, which should be eliminated completely in our society.”
Also, Dr. Oyewole Lawal, of the Ministry of Health and Mrs. Oloyede, a community Health Officer, underscored the need for people in the community “to ensure proper hygiene, in all ways, for sound health, as, health is wealth.”