By Elizabeth Uwandu
Mrs. Nkemakola Okere, the Manager of Teslim Elias Model Primary School has said that the donation of 12 cubicles/refurbished toilets by Rotary Club of Lagos Island, RCLI District 9110 will make her pupils not to see water closet, WC as plates anymore.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in the school premises recently, Mrs Okere explained that the donation by the Rotarians will make children of the poor heave a sigh of relief.
According to her: “When the Rotary Club came and asked me what I needed most to be done among the challenges facing the school, I told them that the toilets were in bad shape. The septic tank was broken and excreta kept on gushing out of the soak-away. Surprisingly, within a month, 10 cubicles of the toilet and two for the teachers were made available.
“I don’t know how to appreciate them enough and the chairman and members of our local government in making the children of the poor, mostly those living under the bridge now, understand how to use the modern toilet. They will no longer see WC as a plate,” she beamed.
At the commissioning, Vipul Agarwal, President, RCLI while noting that education was one of its key priorities, reiterated that the humanitarian body decided to spend over N2.5 billion to renovate the toilet facilities of Teslim Elias Model School and Union Baptist Secondary School, both at Lagos Island in order to allow the children from an underprivileged background enjoy basic infrastructure.
Thanking the Lagos Island LGA for making the renovation possible, Agarwal said: “Good investment is needed to maintain infrastructure in public schools. We, therefore aim at giving the children from the poor background a big improvement in health and sanitation.
“This first project has seen RCLI fully rehabilitating the toilet block for boys, girls and teachers, giving it a new look and functionality. All sanitary fittings, plumbing, tiling, doors, windows, roofs, ceilings, electricity, water borehole, and soak-away pit and septic tank have been fully repaired.
For the first time in many years, children have access to proper toilets with flowing water,” he said.
Expressing delight on the new shape of the toilet and the efforts of RCLI, Vice-Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government, Wadood Bashorun said: “We feel elated as the Club has done a very good job for us in renovating and alleviating the sufferings of the pupils.”
When asked what the LGA did to address the issue of dilapidated toilet before Rotary’s intervention, the VC who doubles as the education supervisor said: “Before now, the toilet was in very bad shape. However, on assumption of office last year, during a tour of primary schools in the area, we itemised the problems of each primary school; that was how we knew about the dilapidated toilet. So, when they came and said they needed to carry out a project, we gave them this one,” he explained.