Address at the Commissioning of Water Projects in Oke-Igbo - Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Address at the Commissioning of Water Projects in Oke-Igbo - Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Address at the Commissioning of Water Projects in Oke-IgboThursday, August 27th, 2015

Professor Olusola Olopade

Good day to all of you. I offer special greetings and welcome to all of you.

I want to start by recognizing the presence of the following people who represent groups that have been partners in the successful execution of this project:

Oke-Igbo Central Council headed by Engineer Oye Olusiyan,

Chief Oyewusi Abiodun (secretary Olu Oke in Council),

Oke-Igbo Economic Initiative Council headed by Mr. Ade Ayoola

Oke-Igbo Consultative Forum headed by Otunba Ade Oduwale

Ileoluji /Oke-Igbo Local Government headed by Mr. Sam Adegbite

Baale Oloruntele Village

Venerable Lanre Ogumuluyi, Vicar, St. Lukes Church, Oke-Igbo

Chief Mrs. Fagunwa

Staff of Comprehensive & Basic Health Centre, Oke-Igbo

Family, friends and people of Oke-Igbo and Oloruntele

Mr. Ajiboye of Smith Rock Nig. Enterprises.

All other protocols observed.

I apologize that I am unable to join you today to be part of commissioning the opening of the water projects for the 2 health centers in Oke-Igbo and for the people of Oloruntele village.

As a young man growing up, I was very happy to learn and appreciate my family roots and the center of our family in Itaare, Oke-Igbo. My father, Mr. James Oyewumi Olopade of blessed memory was a great, focused, determined and devoted family man. He valued education, good citizenry and had the utmost intolerance for laziness and arrogance. One of his favorite phrases was “live and let live”. I am sure that he is looking down on us today with pride and smiles.

I have always being proud to be from Oke-Igbo for as long as I can remember. In addition to my father’s commitment to the town, I had the pleasure of growing up in the house next to the Late Baba Chief Daniel O Fagunwa, in Oke-Ado, Ibadan with his wonderful children. I enjoyed the mystery of listening to and reading many of his books, Ogboju ode ninu igbo irunmole, Aditu Olodumare, Irinkerindo, to list a few that were centered on the forest and hills around Oke-Igbo. I am sure that most of you will agree with me that Chief Fagunwa was instrumental in putting Oke-Igbo in good light on the world map.

Giving back to Oke-Igbo has always been a priority although some of the things that we have done have been on a much smaller, private and simple scale. However, as a Medical doctor and fresh from the scare of the Ebola epidemic, which killed a few Nigerians and scared many all over the world, it became very important that clean water must be made available for proper hand washing and safe cleaning of hospital equipment at our health centers. We expect that this will provide the best health care possible and create a truly hygienic setting for our people who are cared for at our Health Centers.

The drinking of unclean water and poor sanitation remain major causes of diarrheal illnesses and typhoid infection, which kills over four million people all over the world every year, especially children. Many of our loved ones have also been affected by typhoid fever and other diarrheal diseases, which may kill people unnecessarily if not recognized and treated early. The frequency of diarrheal illnesses and unnecessary infections is too common for us to close our eyes to the plight of the afflicted and do nothing.

On behalf of the OLOPADE family that is represented here today by my brothers Oyegoke, Ayodeji and Albert, we feel very honored and privileged to be able to contribute in a way that touches every member of our community, since the health centers cater for the sick and vulnerable among us and health is wealth. We are also happy to provide water for the people of Oloruntele village.

This effort is also strongly supported by the Healthy Life for All Foundation, an Ibadan-based NGO represented today by the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Dayo Adepoju. We offer great thanks to our very good friends Richard and Susie Kiphart from Chicago, United States of America who were here with us in Oke-Igbo 2 years ago for their incredible support and pray that God will continue to bless them.

We also appreciate the wisdom, support and partnership of the community leaders in Oke-Igbo, Oloruntele and Ileoluji /Oke-Igbo Local Government on the successful implementation of this project.

The water in these boreholes have been tested and documented to be safe for drinking and use in the health centers and the Oloruntele village. We are hoping that the town and community will take ownership and responsibility for the proper and safe use of these water sources.

We have done similar work in Ekiti and across Ghana and know from experience that community ownership and engagement is crucial for proper and sustained benefit of this gift of water as we do not live in Oke-Igbo and will not be available to fix any problems that may occur beyond the guaranteed period provided by the Borehole Company.

It may be worthwhile for the town to create water committees in the areas where we have dug these boreholes, which we hope will include women to ensure orderly and proper use of the water. This will also empower them to develop plans for the maintenance of the boreholes that we expect will continue to provide adequate amount of safe water through all seasons of the year.

In closing, I want to encourage our town people to consider using their gifts and talents to contribute to the growth and development of our town community by community because to whom much is given, a lot more is demanded. May God bring peace, good health and his grace to bear on our town and bless the work of our hands, Amen.

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