By Kelvin Ololo and Marylyn Uyanah
As Cross Riverians join the rest of the world to mark global tourism day, WASH (Water And Sanitation Hygiene) Media Network has called on transporters to imbibe and sustain the culture of cleanliness.
The call was made Sunday, during an event organised to mark this year’s World Tourism Day, which had “Tourism and Rural Development” as the global theme.
The Coordinator, Mrs. Florence Oluohu, speaking on the sub- theme “Tourism and Safe Transportation”, stressed on the benefits of healthy living as it relates to flattening the COVID-19 curve in the State.
The event was which held at Hit 95.9 FM Calabar conference hall, was for the executive members of Unified Drivers Association and Airport Taxi Drivers Association, Margaret Ekpo International airport.
In achieving a clean and healthy society especially in times of COVID-19, the WASH Media Network, Cross River State chapter Coordinator said “demands for a collaborative effort from all levels, government, institutions, agencies and citizens, most especially taxi drivers whom are key stakeholders as they have frequent contact with tourists that come in and out of the State.”
She also inferred that even though activities are stepping up gradually from the COVID-19 pandemic, hand washing and good hygiene should not be relegated.
In the same vein, the Chairperson of Tourism Writers Association, Mrs. Florence Kekong emphasised that, in achieving this year’s theme, transportation is key.
“Talking about safety, the Government cannot force us, its voluntary, cheep but difficult to inculcate. This is why strategic workshops like these is important.”
On his part the State Coordinator, Society of Water Sanitation Hygiene, Mr. Anthony Kedang said the event which targets to educate taxi drivers, to in turn educate passenger on need for good hygiene and discourage the practice of open defecation as Nigeria rank number one in the world, is timely.
He said, “They would need to educate passenger whom they are conveying from one place to another. Most time the taxi driver embank on low cost attitude that when they drive to a particular point, they would just stop and enter the bush and defecate not minding whether that is the source of water for another community, whether water is going to wash it to somebody farm or vegetable, we expect a change. ”
The event gave participants, taxi drivers media practitioners opportunity to discuss and rob minds on way out and measures to handle and encourage good hygiene in the State, especially as the State is said to be the epicentre of tourism and as days drift to the world’s biggest street party ‘Calabar Carnival’.
The State Chairman, Unified Drivers Association, Pastor Thomas Effiong promised to create retraining opportunities for his members and sued for infrastructural development in the State to enable smooth activities.
He said, “We need to up our game in infrastructural development because as a tourism State, there is need for infrastructure to be on ground that would help us to boost the system. We are really back when it have to do with infrastructure of our roads But I believe we have to do them better before December.”
Also lending his voices, the Chairman Airport Taxi Drivers Association, Margaret Ekpo International airport, Mr. Ekpo Etim who lauded the organisers and said they’re open for more strategic discussions as this.
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