By Sani Idris
The Centre for Water and Environment Development (CWED), on Monday, donated sanitary items to some public schools in Kaduna to promote toilet hygiene and end open defecation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the items, donated in commemoration of the 2023 World Toilet Day, included: jerry cans of liquid soap, disinfectants and toilet brushes.
The theme of the year’s celebration is: “Accelerating Change.”
NAN reports that the World Toilet Day is an annual United Nations observance, promoted through a worldwide public campaign, to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
Speaking with newsmen at the event, the Programme Officer of CWED, Mrs Lydia Saleh, said in line with the year’s theme, the centre was looking forward to seeing schools in the state getting better in sanitation and hygiene management.
According to Saleh, most of the students in public schools are vulnerable to toilet infections and other diseases.
She said that the items presented were meant to improve toilet hygiene in the schools.
Saleh called on other organisations and kind-hearted individuals to also donate sanitary and hygiene materials to schools to ensure a better learning environment.
According to the programme manager, when there are clean toilets and good water sanitation and hygiene, the impact of learning will be higher.
She urged the schools to ensure usage of the items in their facilities.
Expressing gratitude to CWED, Mr Victor Ogunshola, the Eco Club Patron in one of the beneficiary schools, GGSS Kawo, said that the hygiene items would enhance the health status of their students.
Ogunshola said that the club was committed to ensuring an end to open defecation in its environment.
“Where open defecation usually occurs in schools is when toilets are not in good condition,” he said.
Ogunshola thanked CWED for the items, while pledging to make judicious use of them to enhance their school toilet hygiene.
Also, the School’s Labour Prefect, Marvelous Amos, promised to continue discharging her mandate of ensuring proper sanitation of the school environment, especially the toilets.
She advised the students to desist from open defecation, stressing that punishment awaits anyone caught violating the school’s environmental regulations.
Also at GGSS Maimuna Gwarzo, Tudun Wada, the Principal of the junior section, Mrs Ummakaltume Haruna, stressed the importance of general hygiene in schools and the entire environment.
Haruna thanked CWED for the gesture, while pledging to make judicious use of the items.
Earlier, the Director-General of Kaduna State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr Mubarak Ladan, said that the state was committed to ensuring that rural and small towns had access to basic sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Ladan, represented by the agency’s Community Mobilisation Officer, Mohammed Bello, said that the state was poised to end open defecation before 2025.
According to him, about seven council areas in the state are free from open defecation, adding that by the end of 2023, another six local government areas would become free.
Describing open defecation as a serious challenge to health, Ladan called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders toward ensuring an open defecation-free society.
NAN reports that other beneficiary schools of the items were Government Secondary School, Sabon Tasha, Government Secondary School, Maraban Rido and Government Secondary School, Rigasa. (NAN)
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
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