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April 14, 2024
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WaterAid, partners, inaugurate female WASH facility in Bwari school

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By Veronica Dariya

WaterAid Nigeria in collaboration with its partners on Friday inaugurated a female Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) facility at LEA Primary School, Tudun-fulani, Bwari Area Council, Abuja.

The Country Director, WaterAid, Ms. Evelyn Mere, speaking on the project, said the event was in commemoration of the 2024 World Water Day.

This year’s theme is ‘Water for Peace.’

She said the organisation, with its donor and partners, have successfully constructed and rehabilitated five new water facilities in Dakwa, Barangoni, Zuma II, Sabon-Gari and Tudun-fulani communities.

Mere said the intervention was in continuous efforts toward strengthening systems and building necessary partnership to transform the lives of the poor and marginalised people in the communities.

This, she added, was by expanding an improved access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

She said: “WaterAid has also supported Bwari Area Council to develop a WASH investment plan which, if implemented, will contribute to comprehensive planning towards accelerating access to safe water for residents.

“So much more needs to be done to accelerate access to safe water for millions who live without this essential resource.

“First, we need to rethink approaches through system strengthening, policy formulation, implementation of investment plans through budgetary allocation and releases.

“We also need to improve on financing for water, strengthening platforms for WASH, creation of LGA WASH departments for area councils, among other critical measures.

“The gaps must be closed urgently if we must achieve the SDGs by 2030 in Bwari, FCT and across Nigeria,” she said.

Mere said that the project was carried out in partnership with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days and FCT Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA).

Other collaborators, she said, included Cummins and Bwari Area Council administration.

Mr Ali Dan-Hassan, Executive Director, RUWASSA, said that the inaugurated facility, which had access to water supply, a toilet, bathroom and changing room, was designed to cater for female pupils in the school.

He also added that the old school toilet, which was also renovated and given uplift by the partners, would cater for the male pupils in the school.

He urged the school management and the community at large, to take ownership and responsibility of the facility and ensure sustainability and proper maintenance of the structure.

The chairman of the council, Mr John Gabaya, represented by the council Secretary, Mr Eli Kadanya, commended the stakeholders involved in delivering the project.

He said that the council would do all in its power to provide necessary mechanisms needed to sustain the edifice, while also assuring of the council’s relentless support to partners with notable interventions.

Aisha Babangida, one of the pupils, expressed excitement over the new structure, adding that everyone in the school was happy about the project because it would address open defecation.

She also said that the development would bring behavioural change and discipline among the pupils.

“Before now, we go outside to either urinate or defecate anywhere around the school premises because the other facility was too small and cannot cater for everyone.

“Now, we have this one that looks conducive for just girls, we have no reason to urinate outside or in the open again.

“We appreciate it and may God bless everyone who participated in delivering this project to us,” Babangida said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WaterAid Nigeria and its partners embarked on projects in Bwari communities in 2023, aimed strategically to deploy WASH initiatives in communities.

The organisation had successfully provided access to safe water for residents of five communities in the council, while reaching more than 3,500 people with hygiene behaviour change messages.

NAN also reports that the event was attended by the community chiefs and leaders, council staff and Heads of Departments, teachers and pupils of the school, among several others. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Dorcas Jonah and Abiemwense Moru

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