By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Zamfara
Following the effort to keep more children in schools in communities in Zamfara State, Yandoton-Daji Community of Tsafe Local Government Area, has hailed the intervention of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Department for International Development (DFID) for providing support for their community primary school.
Yandoton-Daji Model Primary School is currently benefiting from UNICEF’s intervention in the areas of Health, Nutrition, WASH and Education where over 1,215 pupils of the school are receiving support through a convergence programme.
Addressing a team of UNICEF, led by the Country Representative, in Nigeria, Mohamed Malick Fall, who was there on a working visit, the Chairman, School Based Management Committee (SBMC) of the school, Lawali S Tasha, said a total of 1,215 students of the school are currently enjoying the interventions by UNICEF which has greatly improved the performance of both the students and the school.
According to Lawali, who spoke on behalf of the community, “before the UNICEF support we had low level of pupils enrolment in our school, poor sanitation, indiscriminate defecation habit, large number of malnourished children, low turn out to immunisation and so on.
“UNICEF, supplied us with furnitures, school uniforms, boxes for teaching materials. All these, increased enrolment of girls from 889 to 1,434, with a total number of students enrolment from 2,762 to 3,798.
He added that UNICEF also supported in providing improved latrines both in the school and the community where over 7,280 population now have access to latrines as against the 3,352 with access before the intervention.
“All 26 communities in Yandoto are now Open Defecation (ODF), certified, over 23,096 now have access to safe drinking water. About 70% of our children now, are registered at birth and the numbers of women attending ANC are increasing.” he said.
The SBMC Chairman, therefore thanked UNICEF for all they have done in their community, assuring their guest of their continued partnership, adding, “we will make sure we sustain and take ownership of all facilities provided both in schools and communities.”
In his remarks, the Country Rep, expressed appreciation for the reception in his honour, adding that there was no need for the community to be thanking UNICEF, rather UNICEF owned them appreciation for their commitment.
”I am delighted to be with you today, this have a lots of meaning for at UNICEF. This is where we are nurturing children, this is where we are preparing children for their future.
“This is where we are protecting children and making sure that children of today will become adults that will contribute to the project you have started today.
“And all you have highlighted and thanked UNICEF for this partnership, but let me say this, I don’t think that you should be the one thanking us, we should be the ones thanking you for your commitment.
“Because we feel that today, whatever resource we brought into this LGA and these projects, if we don’t have your commitment, patience and the leadership that I have seen today we would not have achieved anything for the children of this LGA.” He noted.
Malick Fall, however, assured the community of UNICEF’s continued support in tackling any issue that could hinder child survival.