By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
In an effort to deepening sensitization against the spread of Corona Virus in the rural areas, the Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Ekong Sampson has adopted what he described as Kinship-Communal-Water approach to stem the tide of the pandemic in Mkpat Enin local government area.
Mr. Sampson showcased this while handing over three refurbished functional Boreholes to Ikot Akpabong, Ikot Eka Ide Minya, Nyadiong and a brand new one at Ikot Akpa Ekop, alongside food items worth over N5 million to the four Clans constituting the local government area.
Briefing the Traditional Rulers, Youth Presidents, Women Leaders and family Heads in a town hall meeting on Monday, Mr. Sampson compared Covid 19 to rainfalls which drop on every roof, irrespective of political party, religion and language.
The Commissioner urged them to practise social distancing, regular handwashing/sanitizer and avoid the culture of handshakes for the mean time.
He mentioned that the provision and rehabilitation of water facilities will ameliorate living standard of the rural dwellers, specifically as clean and stable running water becomes an essential element to tackle the spread of Corona Virus.
He charged Community Leaders to spread the message to their family members, villages and friends in the rural areas, and to regularly apply the precuationary measures to cushion the spread of the deadly virus.
Speaking further on the significance of the gesture, the Environment Commissioner said that it was imperative to reach out to his kinsmen in a period of social grief, maintaining that kinship and communality should be widely embraced if Covid 19 scourge is to be roundly contained and defeated
While expressing confidence that the food items and cash gifts will get to the vulnerable persons in the villages, the Commissioner lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for his genuine love and care for Mkpat Enin people, reiterating that the Governor has mandated every well meaning individuals to show love in a time like this.
Meanwhile, the Environment Commissioner had earlier told Journalists that the relief materials was sponsored by Ekong Sampson Empowerment Programme (ESEP), an ingenious brainchild of his, which has contributed immensely to the development of Mkpat Enin having already helped procure employment to more than 200 indigenes of the area.
He advised his constituents to maintain personal hygiene, keep their environments clean at all times, as well as protecting government projects in their areas.
Reacting to the gesture, the Clan Head of Ukpum Minya, HRH, Etebom James Umana applauded the Commissioner for always standing by the people of Mkpat Enin in good and bad times.
He disclosed that the refurbished Boreholes and other delapedated ones was donated by the Commissioner during his reigns as Chairman of Council.
Etebom Umana boasted that with the likes of Mr. Ekong Sampson in the State’s cabinet, the people will continue to enjoy dividend of good governance in both rural and urban areas.
Others who spoke were the Chairman of Conference of Village Head, Mkpat Enin Traditional Rulers Council, Youth Council Chairman, Hon Emem Alex, Chairman Forum of Village Youth Presidents, Comrade Mbet Billy, Women Leaders from various wards and clans in Mkpat Enin, Village Heads, Chief Soso Amaunam Okodi, Magistrate Monday Ebong, and other well meaning citizens from Mkpat Enin local government area.
Other Items apart from the Borehole water include: one hundred 50kg bags of rice worth over 2.5million, Bags of salt, Cartons of Maggie, thousands of hand sanitizers, and cash gifts being handed over to communities across the local government area.