By Royal Ibeh,
The importance of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), cannot be over-emphasized, as it is one sure way to halt the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19; yet, globally, billions of people still lack access to WASH.
In a bid to promote good hygiene and healthy lifestyle, Nestlé, through its Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK), a school-based nutrition education program, promoting healthy nutrition, healthy hydration, good hygiene and active lifestyles, has commissioned two water and sanitation projects at Oke-Ona United School, Abeokuta and St Paul’s Anglican School, Orile Imo in Obafemi Owode, both in Ogun State.
The two new facilities will provide over 2,000 people, including educators, learners, as well as individuals and families within the communities, access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. Also, with the addition of these two new facilities, over 16,000 people living in the communities around Nestlé’s factories in Ogun State and Abaji in the Federal Capital City, now have access to clean and safe water.
The MD/CEO of Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Wassim, Elhusseini said, “At Nestlé, we recognise that water is essential for livelihood and wellbeing. This is why we are focused on ensuring that everyone within our immediate communities has access to clean, potable water. This is also important in the N4HK schools because we cannot talk about hygiene without water and sanitation facilities. It is our hope that these facilities will greatly improve the teaching and learning environment in Oke-Ona United School, Abeokuta and St Paul’s Anglican School, Orile Imo, Obafemi Owode.”
In his address at the commissioning of the WASH facilities at Oke-Ona United School, Ogun State, the honorable commissioner for Education, Professor Abayomi Arigbabu said no government can single-handedly underwrite the cost of sound and effective education service delivery to her citizenry, hence the call of Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to all corporate and individual stakeholders to team up with government by investing in education.
“Government is filled with gratitude to Nestle Nigeria PLC for the donation of water and sanitation projects for pupils and teachers of Oke-Ona United School, Abeokuta and St Paul’s Anglican School, Orile Imo, Obafemi Owode under the N4HK programme. I am not in any doubt that this will add value to teaching and learning and will indeed accentuate healthy environment in the Schools,” Arigbabu added.
He however charged the direct beneficiaries of this facility to make the best use of this rare opportunity through constant maintenance of the facilities, adding that subsequent health report of the pupils must begin to reflect the significance of the monumental investment.
In the same vein, the honorable commissioner for Community Development and Cooperatives, Honorable Ganiyu Oladunjoye said the Prince Dapo Abiodun administration has created an unprecedented enabling environment for industries in Ogun State to thrive so that they would be able to meet their social responsibilities of supporting their host communities through infrastructural development.
“This is evident in the various projects donated by Nestlé to her host communities. This gesture is commendable and highly appreciated by the government and people of Ogun State,” he added.