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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Nestlé provides water, sanitation facilities in Ogun community schools

Learners and educators at LG Primary School, Adie Owe, Ado-Odo-Ota Local Government of Ogun State, were jubilant at the inauguration of Water and Sanitation Facilities provided by Nestlé Nigeria PLC. The facilities will serve over 500 individuals including educators, learners in the school and several families within the community.

L to R: Mr Oseni Sakiru, representing the Program Manager, Ogun State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency; Mrs Adedotun Ogunleye, Zonal Education Officer, Ado Odo Ota, representing the Ogun State Honorable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology; Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Rev. Dr Clement Ogunbisi, Baale of Ketu Adie Owie community, Ado Odo Ota, Ogun State; and Isiaka Aderohunmu, representing the Executive Chairman, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board

LG Primary School Adie Owe is a beneficiary of Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK), a school-based nutrition and health education programme built on four pillars: Healthy Nutrition, Healthy Hydration, Physical Activity and Hygiene.

Recognising hygiene as a crucial component of the N4HK programme and affirming the difficulty of hygiene practice and education in the absence of basic water and sanitation facilities, Nestlé’s investment in water and sanitation facilities for beneficiary schools underscores its commitment to comprehensive health education, enhancing quality of life and building thriving communities.

Speaking at the event, Nestlé Nigeria’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Victoria Uwadoka, said: “At Nestlé, we recognise that maintaining appropriate hygiene standards and practices which is one of the pillars of N4HK is very difficult in the absence of basic water and sanitation facilities. Therefore, we have invested in providing access to water and sanitation facilities in the N4HK beneficiary schools. In Ogun State alone, we have completed and commissioned facilities in ten schools, serving 4,000 learners and educators as well as members of the immediate communities.”

“The commissioning today is very significant as it is one more achievement towards our resolve to make access to water a reality in every school within the N4HK programme, in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG-6), – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” she added.

On his part, the Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, represented by Mrs Adedotun Ogunleye, Zonal Education Officer for Ado Odo Ota, commended Nestlé for partnering with the Ogun State Government on the provision of facilities for public schools.

“The sustained partnership with Nestlé Nigeria in promoting a conducive and sustainable environment for education is highly commendable. We appreciate the company for conceptualising this noble idea of provision of water and sanitation facilities in schools, which is aimed at providing a healthier environment for the safety of our children,” he said.

Expressing her gratitude, Darasinmi Agunbiade, a primary 5 learner in the school, said: “I am very happy that we no longer have to endure long treks for water. Previously, we only had one toilet, but now, with the separate facilities for girls and boys, practicing what we learn during the hygiene sessions in N4HK classes becomes much easier. Thank you, Nestlé.”

In his remarks at the commissioning, the Board Chairperson of Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Femi Majekodunmi, represented by Isiaka Aderohunmu, Permanent Member 2, Ogun SUBEB, said: “It is gratifying to note that over the years, Nestlé, through her flagship programme, Nestlé for Healthier Kids, has successfully implemented various developmental school programs and projects across the 20 beneficiary schools in four local government areas of the state. This laudable gesture of donation of water and sanitation facilities would go a long way to boost the morale of learners and teachers and provide opportunity for the children to learn in a conducive environment.”

“I call on the School-based Management Committee (SBMC), Parents Teachers Association (PTA), teachers and learners to make good use of the facilities and make sure they are well secured and preserved,” he added.

Nestlé Nigeria had earlier in February 2024 handed over a Water and Sanitation Facility at Wesley School 2, Sagamu, Ogun State to the Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board and the community, bringing the total number of facilities the company has built across the country to 20.

The absence, inadequacy, or mismanagement of water and sanitation services pose significant health risks, impeding human well-being and hindering social and economic development. Recurrent instances of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) related illnesses among children contribute to school absenteeism and malnutrition.

As outlined in Goal 6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene remains a global imperative. The World Bank estimates that 70 million Nigerians lack access to safe drinking water, and 114 million lack access to basic sanitation facilities.

The provision of WASH facilities is therefore in line with the fact that water, sanitation, and hygiene are fundamental human rights crucial for favorable outcomes in education, nutrition, health, livelihoods, and community socio- economic development.

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