By Victor Bieni
ASABA- United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Partnership with Connected Development (CODE) has trained Journalists – Print, Electronic, Broadcast and online media Practitioners on proper, effective and efficient reportage of E- WASH Projects in Delta State.
This was disclosed to our reporter by the Lead facilitator of CODE, Comrade Ijeoma Oforka, and the State Lead facilitator, Comrade Emeka Okelum Okonta on Tuesday, 3rd December, 2019 at Bellwood Hotel, Asaba, Delta State capital Capital stated that meeting the target of the project objectives of E- WASH is the Organization’s foremost blueprints as International donors.
According to the lead facilitators, E- WASH means modern, electronic approaches to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; adding that this new development has become very imperatives to ensure that Journalists in Delta State get adequate training necessary towards Improving service delivery, enhancing urban E- Wash, public accountability through application of innovative Technology, engagement of Government officials on social media, Aligning communication activities, increase Civic advocacy and WASH Stakeholder engagement for a cleaner environment, safe drinking water and hygiene.
To this end, highlighting more on the communication focus, the facilitators stated that the essence of the program, training is to identify and partner with trigger events on e- wash, also measure Communication effectiveness and delivery of key messages, Media round table, and enhance Local media relationships by providing more information on critical and complex issues as well as develop key messages targeted at specific audience(s).
Speaking further on the expected outcomes by Program Manager of CODE, Comrade Ijeoma Oforka, she stated that the increased the number of urban dwellers, having access to clean water and sanitation, and improved capacity to engage and create greater WASH accountability through training of CBO/As and Water Consumer Associations is the ultimate goals of the E-WASH Projects in Delta.
USAID/CODE noted that the Change in policy or project plan by state governments owing to mobilization, increase demand for clean water and sanitation will no doubt if we’ll Strengthen in the positive directions, will lead to good governance and responsibility.
Comrade Oforka then Stated that the major area of the organization’s area of concentrations is that of Urban E-WASH as the rural projects have had enough attention in the past, she then appealled to Journalists in the State to help in spreading the message, Sensitization of the masses, citizens as advocacy point, adding that Urban E- – WASH Program is under the Ministry of Water resources, and that is
a USAID funded Program in the following States such as: Taraba, Sokoto, Niger and Delta State.
In her words: “Advocacy is what we do to influence the policies and actions of Government, international institutions, private sector, in order to achieve positive change in the lives of marginalized individuals”.
“Media Commitments included amongst others: Enlighten the public and policy makers.
Media should understand policies and own them before reporting. Media to champion relative hygiene, clean water model, discourage open defaecation”.
“Media should encourage Delta State Government to introduce a monthly environmental sanitation program and enforce it”.
“Media should encourage the State Government to mandate private business owners such as restaurants, filling stations, public malls, shopping malls to build places of convenience as part of her CSR”.