"With this program, I have now seen the possibility of purposeful leadership in the Niger Delta in particular and Nigeria in general [...]
About 12 million persons in the Niger Delta region do not have access to safe drinking water, while about 26 million do not have access to adequate sanitation. The severity of the WASH needs in Nigeria’s Niger Delta is also evident in the schools, majority of which operate with dysfunctional and non-existent WASH facilities and services such as safe sanitary excreta disposal, hand washing and water supply facilities etc. In few cases where these facilities are available, they are grossly inadequate and unsafe to maintain good hygiene, especially for girls. This unfriendly school environment contributes significantly to low school enrolment, absenteeism, and low academic achievement of students.
Clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene play a very important role in ensuring a child friendly school as a result, PIND in partnership with Rotary District #9140, Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG), Procter & Gamble (P&G), Foundation, Niger Delta Partnership Initiatives (NDPI) and H20 for Life (H2O) developed the WASH in Schools project to provide clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene to school children and surrounding communities in the Niger Delta region.
This project seeks to:
- Provide and establish sustainable WASH facilities and services (water points, toilets, and hygiene clubs) in 30 selected schools in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
- Build capacity of local rotary clubs to implement WASH programs in Schools.
- Build capacity of local rotary clubs to monitor and keep functional all established WASH facilities and services.
To achieve these objectives, we conducted a needs assessment to identify and select 30 schools in Niger Delta with severe WASH needs based on the following criteria:
- Severity of need – zero or almost zero water and sanitation facilities.
- Easily accessible to local rotary club adopting the school to implement and monitor the project.
- Use of PuR water purification packets, while constructing water scheme.
- Willingness of the school – students, parents and teachers – to actively participate in the implementation, operation and maintenance.
Thereafter we developed a plan and budget to provide/establish sustainable WASH facilities and services in the selected schools, construct water points and toilets, effectively monitor WASH facilities and services for optimal and continuous functionality, and establish hygiene clubs and introduce a hygiene curriculum for hygiene promotion.
So far, we have concluded the procurement process for the construction of boreholes and latrines for the first eight schools. Service providers have been mobilised with 50% of required project funds, and construction is on-going. We have also started procuring the P&G purifier of water packets for the first nine schools.
Participating Rotary clubs within the district 9140 have agreed to adopt at least one school – adoption here means the rotary club with actively participate in the implementation and monitoring of the project by constituting a project team as well as contributing a minimum of 1,000 USD per school to the partnership. The project will reach 12 schools each in Delta and Rivers States, and 6 schools in Bayelsa. So far, about 20 schools have been adopted and with guidance from the PIND project team, these participating Rotary clubs have set up project teams specifically for the WASH in Schools project. These Rotary club project teams, in turn, have gotten their respective adopted schools to establish school project teams which have set up the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) clubs in their respective schools.
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