As part of efforts at containing the spread of COVID- 19 pandemic, especially among vulnerable school children by ensuring adequate sanitation and good hygiene, Nestlé Nigeria has provided and inaugurated water and sanitation projects at Oke-Ona United School, Abeokuta and St Paul’s Anglican School, Orile Imo in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area in Ogun State.
The project is under the auspices of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK), a school-based nutrition education programme promoting healthy nutrition, healthy hydration, good hygiene and active lifestyles has benefitted over 17,000 children yearly across Nestlé Nigeria’s host communities.
With the project, the company has provided 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.
The provision of clean and safe water in the N4HK beneficiary schools, according to the firm, was in response to the need for adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities as one of the sure ways of preventing the spread of the COVID-19.
While lamenting that billions of people globally still lack access to clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), thus increasing the risk of infections and diseases, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Wassim, Elhusseini said that the commitment to provide access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, was in support of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG-6), which focused on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
He added: “At Nestlé, we recognise that water is essential for livelihood and well-being. 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.” However, in his remarks, while inaugurating the WASH facilities at Oke-Ona United School, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, lauded the management of Nestle Nigeria over the school projects, noting that no government could single-handedly underwrite the cost of sound and effective education service delivery to its citizenry.
Thus, he stated that this prompted the call by the education-friendly state government, led by Governor Dapo Abiodun to all corporate organisations and relevant stakeholders to join hands with the government by investing in education.
The Commissioner said: “The 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 in Obafemi Owode under the N4HK programme. I am not in any doubt that this will add value to teaching and learning and indeed accentuate a healthy environment in the schools.
“I, therefore, charge the direct beneficiaries of these facilities to make the best use of this rare opportunity through constant maintenance of the facilities. Indeed, subsequent health reports of our pupils must begin to reflect the significance of this monumental investment.”
Also, the state Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperatives, Ganiyu Oladunjoye said, “The Governor Abiodun’s 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 its host communities. This gesture is commendable and highly appreciated by the government and people of Ogun State