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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

WaterAid, Cummins to provide Lagos school with WASH facilities

In a bid to improve access to sanitation in Lagos public schools, WaterAid Nigeria has laid the foundation of one of the WASH facilities in Oregun Junior High School in Ikeja.

Thierry Pimi, Group Vice President of Cummins and Managing Director for the Africa and Middle East Region, laying the foundation

The project, facilitated with the support of Cummins, is part of an intervention aimed at strengthening communities through sustainable water for 20 million people by 2025.

During the Foundation Laying Ceremony on Thursday, February 22, 2024, Evelyn Mere, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, said: “The project will provide about 76,547 people across eight locations in Lagos with access to safe, inclusive and sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.”

“The intervention also supports the Lagos State Educational Transformation Plan 2020 by improving WASH facilities and services in schools and correctional facilities in the state,” she noted.

According to her, “The environmental health clubs already set up in the schools will ensure children and youth participation for a healthier society and create change ambassadors in the respective institutions, households, and communities.

“We are delighted that the relevant government agencies in the state and especially the schools are already taking ownership and committing to ensuring the sustainability of the facilities when completed.

“We appreciate Cummins for this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people of Lagos. This intervention will go a long way in increasing school enrolment, completion, and transition rates among children in public schools, especially the girls.

“This will further boost water supply in Lagos and enhance sanitation and hygiene while also opening new market opportunities across the WASH value chain for increased profitability for the corporation,” she stated.

In his remarks, Thierry Pimi, Group Vice President of Cummins and Managing Director for the Africa and Middle East, pointed out that Cummins has about 105 years long history of delivering water solutions and is committed to making the people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world, while creating financial stability and wealth for the stakeholders is essential to the future doing so sustainably is equally important.

“Ultimately we will always fulfil our mission and make the people’s lives better if we create more wealth with less impact on the planet.

“We know that water scarcity around the world is a global problem, according to World Health Organisation, about 785 million people lack basic services and 144 million people drink untreated water. Related to sanitation, the number runs into billions of people who live without safely managed sanitation and hand washing services. To help overcome this water related challenges, Cummins has joined the United Nations Water Resilience Coalition which focuses on a collaborative effort to provide sustainable water and sanitation to 100 million people in 100 water vaccines around the world by 2030.

In his submission, Mark Oni-Okeke, Managing Director, Cummins West Africa Limited, noted that the value of the entire Cummins project in Nigeria is put at $1.3 million, approximately around N1 billion and the partnership with WaterAid is to ensure provision of sustainable and affordable access to water for deprived communities.

“The project is going to be fully solar powered with zero carbon footprint, so we would have absolute no issue pumping water into the facility or having access to water especially during the day. You all know that solar panels have a lifespan of at least 25 years, so we can be assured that in the next 20-25 years as long as the panel is on the roof, there will be power available to power the water facility.

Jamiu Tolani Ali-Balogun, Lagos State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, in his remarks, said: “The initiative will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on our education community. We all know that education is the cornerstone of progress, the key to unlocking the potential within each and every one of us, it is the tool to empower our youths to dream.

“Water is the basic necessity of life and providing that basic necessity of life is also fostering that environment that will make learning to strive.

“Lagos State appreciates WaterAid and Cummins because our partnership symbolises the collaborative effort required to uplift the educational system by investing in infrastructure, resources and programmes that enhance learning experience,” he stressed.

Dignitaries at the event include Oladotun Olakanle, Chairman, Onigbongbo LCDA; representatives of the Permanent Secretary/Tutor General, Education District VI; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources; Directors and Heads of various MDAs.

By Ajibola Adedoye

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