The Unilever Ghana Foundation on Tuesday handed over 20 renovated hygiene stations to 26 selected public basic schools within Tema, Ashaiman, Kpone and Sakumono.
The hygiene stations, which were constructed for the schools were renovated under the Foundation’s maintenance regime, which ensures that the facilities remain in good condition for use by the students and pupils.
Each facility contains four water closet toilets, and two hand wash basin each for boys and girls with the girls section having a changing room for their comfort during their menstruation period, the female and male teachers also have one toilet each.
Mr Andrews Evans Quayson, Chairman of the Unilever Ghana Foundation, speaking at a symbolic handing over ceremony at Kpone Presby Basic ‘A’ School, said the hygiene station was one of the flagship undertakings of the Foundation.
He said it aims at facilitating the improvement of the health and hygiene conditions in schools within the Tema, Ashaiman, Sakumono and Kpone communities.
Mr Quayson added that his outfit had supported the construction of 26 of these hygiene stations since 2013, a commitment he said was driven by the sustainability agenda of Unilever Ghana PLC.
He said the facilities over the years had benefitted over 26,000 students, pupils and staff who now have decent places of convenience within their compounds, “this has relieved them of the discomfort of having to visit nearby homes, bush or the beach to attend to places of convenience.”
He commended Global Communities, an international NGO for partnering the Foundation in the construction of the hygiene stations, since 2016 indicating that they had supported them with resources and expertise as well as the setting up of a sustainable governing management structure to inculcate behavioural change.
He announced that the Foundation, which had been in operations for 20 years, was bringing its work to a close in line with the strategy of its benefactor to centralize the operations of the foundational works across the globe.
Mr Michael Ubeh, Customer Development Director, Unilever Ghana PLC, said the Foundation was set up by the Unilever Ghana PLC 20 years ago with a mandate to support education and development in Ghana.
He said adjustments were made to its mandate over the years to reflect the changing sustainability visions of the Company, hence its current focus on the improvement of health and hygiene needs of Ghanaians.
“As the Foundation brings its work to a close, Unilever Ghana assures of its continuous commitment to the projects and programmes, which you have initiatives and executed.
“I have no doubt that the Unilever Global Foundation will continue to extend support to projects in Ghana to ensure that our new compass ideals are well expressed,” he said.
Mr Alberto Wilde, Country Director of Global Communities, said it was rewarding that many children were benefiting from the hygiene station, saying they initially constructed six as a pilot in the first phase.
Mr Wilde indicated that to ensure the sustainability of the project, they had trained teachers on how best to manage the facility, and as well put in place a facility management plan to be followed.
He added that environment and health clubs had also been formed in the schools to help imbibe in the students and pupils’ good hygiene habits for life.
He urged the schools to observe the international days such as the World Toilet Day and Handwashing Days to remind the students and the public on the need to observe good hygiene practices.
Mr Harry Evans Arthur, Kpone-Katamanso Education Director on his part thanked the Foundation and its partners for the station and appealed for similar projects to be extended to other schools as lack of toilet facilities was one of the greatest challenges facing schools in the Municipality.
There was a demonstration on the steps to proper hand washing with soap and running water as a measure to curb the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic.