SAP West Africa, AYECI Africa Renovate Toilets in Lagos School to Check Open Defecation

In Nigeria and other parts of the world, lack of toilet facilities is one of the most common causes of death among children. This is because children under the age of 5, who grow up without basic toilet facilities, are exposed to faecal-oral diseases like diarrhea which kills them faster.

According to the most recent statistics of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 82 percent of the 1 billion people practicing open defecation globally live in just 10 countries: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Niger, Nepal, China, and Mozambique.

Over the years, not much has been done to redeem this problem as most public primary and secondary schools are usually without good lavatory systems. In such situation, children are expected to go to nearby bushes to defecate and this exposes them to environmental hazards.

To tackle this challenge, SAP West Africa in partnership with AYECI Africa, a non-profit organisation committed to driving deep and sustainable engagements that make it possible for people in underserved communities to improve their prospects and living conditions, has help to renovate 12 units of dilapidated toilet facility in Victoria Island Primary School Complex in Lagos state, Nigeria.

Founder/Executive Director of AYECI Africa, Ifeoma Jane Adibe-Chukwuka, said: “Adequate toilet facilities are essential to maintain the sanitation and hygiene in schools, improving this would greatly improve the health standards and learning outcomes especially for girls who are disproportionately affected by lack of adequate sanitation.”

Before now, pupils of Victoria Island Primary School lacked access to clean and socially acceptable toilets. The school’s lavatory was in dire need of urgent attention as the water closets were broken, the septic tank was blocked and leaking, the sewage was full.

The dilapidated toilet facility was worsened by lack of water and a heap of refuse, which accumulated over the years, thereby constituting a health risk to children who are the most vulnerable.

During SAP’s Month of Service (MoS) volunteering activation, employees of SAP West Africa and AYECI Africa volunteered to join the renovation contractors in installing toilet fittings, painting and cleaning up debris in the school surroundings. The renovated toilet facility will contribute to improving the sanitary and hygiene standards of over 1553 pupils and translate to a positive and hygiene change for the school.

“SAP West Africa’s employee act of service is simply because we wanted to promote the message of corporate social responsibility and employee volunteerism to help improve the lives of the underserved in our local communities,” MD, SAP West Africa, Mr Kudzai Danha, said.

To ensure sustainability of the project, AYECI Africa will continue to monitor and inspect the refurbished toilets to ensure proper usage and maintenance. It will do this by visiting the school periodically and engaging the service of a cleaner who will clean the facility daily.

 

Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and Ventures-Africa.com. She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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