How Mrakpor Reduced Disease Spread By Improving Sanitation At Ubulu-Uku Eke Market

Traders at Ubulu-Uku Eke Market

By Fortune Ngozi Onwordi

When former Delta State House of Assembly and House of Representatives Member, Hon. Mrs. Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpor, listed the construction of Ubulu-Uku Eke Market as one of her legacy projects, very little attention is paid to how the landmark project contributed to the decline in child mortality and the spread of diseases occasioned by poor sanitation habits in and around the market.
Just about a decade ago, traders at the popular Ubulu-Uku Eke Market in Aniocha South Local Government Area which holds every four days, some of whom travel to Ubulu-Uku from as far as Anambra State, convey their goods to the market, display their wares in the open, sell under the scorching heat of the sun and scramble for shelter whenever it rained.
Worst still, traders had no convenience to relieve themselves when nature called and relied on open defecation. This promoted poor sanitation around the market and spread of diseases.

Well and Convenience At Eke Market

Towards the completion of her first tenure as member representing Aniocha South Constituency at the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Mrakpor capped her phenomenal performance by completing a modern Market in the town with a source of portable water and convenience to be managed by the market authorities. In December, 2018, she announced the award of contract by NDDC for the construction of Ubulu-Uku Eke Market road. Today, the road construction project is completed with functional drainage.
In 2019, she listed the project as one of her greatest accomplishments.

Mrakpor inspecting the project during construction

I still regard this project as one of my greatest accomplishments because as a little child I usually come to the Eke market with my grandmother to sell under a shade of stakes and palm fronds with nowhere to run when it rains.
I always prayed to God to raise me up so I can rebuild the market,
Mrakpor recalled.

Undoubtedly, the location of a convenience at the market helped to promote sanitation to acceptable public health standards. It is also an indication that the lawmaker had a first-hand experience of happenings around the market where the open land beside a nearby primary school was used for open defecation.

Ubulu-Uku Eke Market

In 2019, replicating the same feat, Mrs. Mrakpor who is now the Director General of Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, has made public her intentions to promote sanitation in the state capital and reduce the spread of diseases by constructing public conveniences in strategic locations within Asaba metropolis.
In a recent post, she restated her commitment to improved sanitation.

We must redefine our perception of a toilet as it represents more than just a convenience. A toilet is a life-saver, dignity-protector and opportunity-maker. Whoever you are, wherever you are, sanitation is a human right you must protect because nature never negotiates,
she said.

Keke Park Office/Convenience, At Summit Junction, Asaba

As the World Toilet Day is marked today, her accomplishment at Ubulu-Uku's Eke Market stands as testimony to the level Asaba will attain in sanitation as she embarks on the task of remaking the capital city.

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