WaterAid, PepsiCo Provide Water, Restrooms Facilities in Lagos Schools
By Yemi Olakitan
Over 700 students and staff at Agidingbi Junior Grammar School in Ojodu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State will benefit from the construction of a new, inclusive, female-friendly toilet block, which was built in collaboration with the Lagos State Government and WaterAid, an international not-for-profit organisation.
The PepsiCo Foundation financed “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement project” in Lagos State’s first year included interventions such as the new water facility and restrooms. The project’s three-year goal is to provide adequate sanitation, clean water, and hygiene education to at least 173,000 people.
The newly built inclusive female-friendly restrooms have padbanks to help females manage their periods while in school as well as three shower compartments in each restroom.
By giving children, especially girls, access to clean water, acceptable toilets, and good hygiene, these seemingly life-changing amenities will enhance learning and school attendance.
WaterAid developed the ability of community members by educating over 20 female local area mechanics and established a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Committee (WASHCOM) to maintain and run the new water facilities as part of the project’s goal of strengthening systems and institutions.
Children’s health, education, and safety in Nigeria are at risk due to a lack of clean water and adequate restrooms, according to Evelyn Mere, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria. Human rights including the child’s right to an education, access to clean water, and proper sanitation shouldn’t be restricted or compromised.
Children should have easy access to services for safe and sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in order to learn in a healthy setting. Lack of access to proper WASH facilities might affect students’ attendance and academic performance in class.
“WaterAid specifically believes that higher school enrollment, completion, and transfer rates among girls are achievable, as is the prevention of menstruation-related school absences. Children should not be exposed to infections or illnesses linked to poor sanitation as they work towards their goals of receiving a top-notch education that will ensure fulfilling lives in the future. Today, 700 kids may benefit from this thanks to the help of WaterAid and donations from PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation.
“We think that the students and the school community will take ownership of these facilities and maintain their usefulness, cleanliness, and sustainability. We applaud the government’s efforts to strengthen its processes and supply WASH services. In order to protect Lagos State children from unnecessary health hazards while pursuing their education, we ask for increased investments in clean water, appropriate restrooms, and proper cleanliness in schools.
“We’re incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with WaterAid and the transformative work taking place in Lagos State to give access to the basic human right of clean, safe water,” said C.D. Glin, President of the PepsiCo Foundation and Global Head of Social Impact for PepsiCo, in his remarks.
“This work builds on more than 15 years of PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation providing more than 80 million people with access to safe water through distribution, purification, and conservation activities, including 12 million people in 2022 alone. With these efforts, we are now well on our approach to achieving our pep+ objective of providing access to safe water to 100 million people by 2030.
“What we have on the ground is an attempt to make living better for everyone, so this is service to humanity,” the Permanent Secretary/Tutor General, Dr. Mrs. Adejoke Shareefah Yusuff, who was represented by Mr. Olawale Muyiwa Amodu, the Director Schools Admin, Education District VI, said in her welcome speech. We therefore wish to thank Pepsico and WaterAid for bringing this facility to Agidingbi Junior Grammar School and extend a warm welcome.
I want Pepsico to be aware that there are 106 schools in District IV, which includes the zones of Ikeja, Mushin, and Oshodi/Isolo, and that this is just one of them. As such, when a project like this is put in place to support the government’s effort, we should take cognizance of other zones to stop petty jealousy.”
This facility is amazing, inspiring, and deservedly good inspiration for our children; whatever security measures you can put in place to safeguard this facility will be greatly welcomed, she said in closing. “I want to call your attention to the security challenges in our schools.”
“The commissioning and handing over of water and toilet facility to Agidingbi Junior Grammar is so remarkable and appreciated by the Ojodu Local Council Development Area, the students, and the community at large,” Ojodu LCDA Chairman Olusegun Odumbaku, represented by Lekan Peters, said in his message of goodwill.
“Through the effort and support of the Pepsico Foundation, the construction of new boreholes and modern toilets is being realised, which is also in line with the 8 agenda of our administration,” states the Pepsico Foundation, “this WASH programme will avail the students the opportunity of having clean water under hygienic culture and propel the sixth item of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
Representatives from the civil society, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Hassan Sanuth, Mr. Michael Alo, the Principal of Agindigbi Junior Grammar School, and other stakeholders are among the dignitaries present at the occasion.
According to WaterAid, it will take a generation to make access to clean water, sanitary facilities, and good hygiene standard across the board.
The global non-profit organisation works in 28 nations to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised individuals.
According to reports, WaterAid has provided 27 million people with access to clean water and 27 million with adequate toilets since 1981.
The PepsiCo Foundation, the charitable arm of PepsiCo, was founded in 1962 with the goal of fostering vibrant communities. It makes investments in the vital components of a sustainable food system.