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Sunday, December 10, 2023

WaterAid, Kimberly Clark’s facility to improve sanitation, hygiene in Ikorodu North

WaterAid Nigeria in partnership with Kimberly Clark Corporation has commissioned the rehabilitation of modern and conducive toilet facility domiciled inside the premises of Army Children School in Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.

WaterAid and Kimberly Clark
L-R: Grace Uwadiale, Consultant on Kimberly Clark Sanitation and Hygiene Implementation Programme; Niyi Odugbesi, Secretary to Local Government Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA; and Florence Adio, Head Teacher, Army Christain School, Ikorodu

Speaking to journalists during the commissioning on Thursday, September 28, 2023, Grace Uwadiale, the Consultant on Kimberly Clark Sanitation and Hygiene Implementation Project in Lagos, said: “Apart from the rehabilitation of the toilet facility here in the school, we also have Environmental Health Club established in the school where we taught the pupils the five key hygienic behaviours talking about their attitudinal change in order for them to maintain and sustain hygienic standard at all times.

“The project, called the Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Project, is a WaterAid initiative funded by Kimberly Clark Corporation. We carry out interventions and implement interventions in public schools, primary health centres and communities in Ikorodu North as well as Ojodu areas of Lagos.

“At the onset of the project we went to different LCDAs, one of the criteria we had for them to be selected is the availability of water because the project is supporting sanitation and hygiene though we have other projects that are also supporting provision of water in addition to sanitation and hygiene.

“What the project has done is in two phases, we have two components of the projects we have the hardware components which takes care of the rehabilitation of sanitation and hygiene facilities in the schools as well as the primary healthcare centres. We also provided hand wash stations in the communities from Ikorodu and Ojodu LCDAs.

“We have been able to rehabilitate the facilities for the school to make it easy for the children who are the major beneficiaries as well as the teaching and non-teaching staff. When we came on board, the toilet facility was a modern latrine, it was in a sorry state and the children could not use it conveniently.

“One of the reasons we support the use of owning and using clean toilet is to eradicate open defecation. As we are aware, former President Muhammadu Buhari said before 2025 Nigeria should be open defecation-free and one of the ways we are supporting the government is to ensure that Nigeria is indeed an open defecation-free by 2025. And with the rehabilitation of the toilet, the students will no longer need to defecate openly within the school premises.”

The consultant further stated: “We have also been able to look at the five key hygiene behaviour and one of it is menstrual hygiene. The project has been able to support in training the beneficiaries especially the teachers on menstrual hygiene and health management where they were trained on how to make reusable pads and how the children, girls and women in general can maintain good hygiene management during their menstrual period and with the provision of these clean and good toilet now, it will be easy and comfortable for the girls to come into the school, no longer will we have girls not wanting to come to school because the toilet facilities are not comfortable for them to use and to change their pads especially during their menstrual period.

“We also provided mirror and pad bank filled with menstrual hygiene and kits, sanitary wares and soaps that they can use during their monthly periods. So in a situation where a girl starts her period suddenly during the school hours, with these in place, she can easily walk up to any of the teachers, talk to them and they assist such girl with sanitary wares already provided and the girl is comfortable studying without no hassles.

“WaterAid Nigeria carries out interventions like this so that government and other organisations can replicate what we have been able to do, we are as a non-governmental organisation and Kimberly Clark Corporation cannot cover all schools and communities across Lagos State but the little we have been able to do in both Ikorodu North and Ojodu LCDAs, we urge the government to replicate this same intervention programme in other areas,” she stressed.

While cutting the tape to commission the project, Niyi Odugbesi, Secretary to the Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, while representing his boss, Adeola Bisi Banjo, was full of praise to the facilitators of the project.

“I want to appreciate WaterAid Nigeria and Kimberly Clark Corporation for their support, this is not the first time they will be doing this kind of project, they have done many like that.

“I urge the children to always imbibe the act of cleanliness by washing their hands each and every time they make use of the toilet using the soaps and water provided for them by Kimberly Clark Corporation and WaterAid Nigeria and also implore the teachers and management of the school to ensure good and proper use of the facility, it is one thing to provide facility like this, it’s another thing to put it into good use by maintaining it adequately.”

In her remarks, Mrs. Florence Adio, Head Teacher of Army Children School, Ikorodu, also commended the facilitators of the sanitation project for a job well done.

“I appreciate the Kimberly Clark and WaterAid for the rehabilitation work done for our kids here and also for educating the children on how to ensure neatness at all times especially when making use of the toilet.”

While assuring the organisations of good usage and maintenance of the facilities, she however appealed to the Chairman of Ikorodu North LCDA, Adeola Bisi Banjo, to assist with the renovation of all the classrooms in the school in order to give the school a facelift.

In attendance during the commissioning of the sanitation facility project included Nanbam Michael, Project Manager, WaterAid Nigeria; community leaders; government officials; and other stakeholders in Ikorodu North LCDA.

By Ajibola Adedoye

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