The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 urged his counterpart in Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, to implement resolution of 8th National Council on Environment.
The resolution was on establishment of Environmental Health Departments in tertiary institutions.
Abubakar made the appeal while presenting certificate of Decontamination/Disinfection of schools to the Minister of Education in Abuja.
He said the presentation of the certificate was to attesting to and declaring the safety and fitness of the school environments for habitation and meaningful learning.
He said that the establishment of the departments in the tertiary educational institutions across the country was to ensure professionalism in the discharge of environmental health and sanitation services.
Abubakar also said that he was in the ministry to consolidate on the gains so far recorded in inter-ministerial collaboration between both ministries in the wake of the pandemic bedeviling the country.
According to him, as members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, the two ministries are key in the prevention, containment and management of the coronavirus disease.
“The need to be proactive cannot be over emphasised as the PTF is still considering how best to re-open schools.
“In order not to be an unwary agent of the spread of COVID-19 among learners and caregivers in various schools nationwide which have remained closed since Feb. 2020,” he said.
The minister recalled that the collaboration his ministry had with various ministries in a view to decontaminate/disinfect unity schools last year was utilised.
Abubakar added that the environmental health surveillance staged by environmental health emergency volunteer corps at the Senior School Certificate Examination Centres across the country recorded a huge success.
He mentioned some of the roles of the ministry contained in the guidelines, which included developing detailed protocols.
“Also, establishment and maintaining prescribed hygiene standards and practices such as Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) provisions.
“This is paramount in the assurance of safety health and well being of members of the learning environment,” he said.
Abubakar said that the environmental health action would not be limited to a one off decontamination/disinfection.
He added that the exercise would be a continuous primary preventive measure and integrated with disinfestation of school environments.
He said that the effort was to get rid of pests and vectors diseases that were dangerous for the health of inhabitants of those premises.
Responding, Adamu said that the visit was a welcomed effort, adding that it showed effectiveness and commitment in the fight against the pandemic.
He thanked the environment minister in ensuring that the school environments were decontaminated/disinfected, adding that it would help to protect the premises from various diseases.
“I want to thank the minister in his efforts, thank you for what you are doing to the schools and what you are also planing to do to prevent more spread of the virus in various schools.
Adamu said that he would make sure that the certificate presented would be sent to schools.
Also speaking, Mr Sonney Echono, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, thanked the environment minister for his collaborative effort in the fight against the pandemic.
Echono said the ministry would as well ensure that the students and the environment were safe and healthy.
By Vivian Emoni