In commemoration of the World Toilet Day, Africare Nigeria, through its Power Foward Project has taken campaigns to encourage healthy toilet management to schools in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Africare in a statement by Terfa Akpoyibo, Project Manager, Power Forward said atleast 900 direct beneficiaries of the Power Forward project will wash toilets in their various schools and conduct public awareness campaigns in 30 secondary schools in Abuja.
The project manager said Power Foward is also encouraging Government Schools benefitting from the project to renovate toilets that are available to students thereby improving toilet hygiene.
Akpoyibo noted that the theme of the 2019 WTD is “Leaving No One Behind” which emphasizes the importance providing toilets for every person in every community in efforts to reduce open defecation, provide access to clean water, availability of public toilets and proper disposal of fecal waste.
He added that the Power Foward project has also erected 14 hand wash stations in 14 schools to increase hand wash and toilet hygiene among students.
“These campaigns are expected to encourage healthy toilet management among in-school-youth, and enlighten them on the need for cleaner and better sanitation options.
“The youths are also expected to take this message to their various homes and communities at large, in order not to “leave anyone behind”, he stated.
Akpoyibo explained that Power Forward is a youth life skills and public health development project that uses basketball as a convening platform to train students on life skills such as effective communication, conflict resolution, embracing diversity, and gender equality.
According to him, the project which is in partnership between three organizations ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Africare has reached over 70,000 senior secondary students in 30 secondary schools Abuja with public health messages.
He said the project also seeks to increase knowledge of public health issues such as malaria and its prevention, water sanitation, personal hygiene and develop leadership in beneficiaries of the project.
“In the last six years of implementation, Power Forward has conducted more than 400 student led social behaviour change community initiatives to impact relevant information on topics such as Toilet Management, Hand Wash, Sanitation, Environmental Protection, and Personal Hygiene”, he added.
The World Toilet Day (WTD) is a World Health Organization Public Health recognized Day celebrated annually on November 19 to raise awareness of the role that that toilets play in reducing diseases and creating healthier communities.
– Kenny Folarin