Promoting Water Management for Future Generations

Promoting Water Management for Future Generations

Nestlé Nigeria, one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa, is promoting Sustainable Development Goal 6 — clean water and sanitation — among 8,000 children in Nigeria annually. Rebecca Ejifoma takes a deep dive into its hands-on empowerment programme for over 160 students across public and private primary schools in Ogun state and Abuja on water management for future generations

Friday, March 31st this year, will forever go down in sweet memory for primary 5 pupil Esther Samuel of Salvation Army School 1 Agbara in Ogun State. It was a day she traded her oblivion to water management and sanitation hygiene for extensive practical knowledge. “I am very happy to be part of this event. I enjoyed the tour of the factory. I have learnt a lot about how to use and conserve water and not waste it,” she expressed. 

Her excitement is occasioned by the newly acquired knowledge of water management courtesy of Nestlé Nigeria commemorating World Water Day 2023. “I’m ready to practice what I have been taught here at home,” says Samuel. “I will definitely teach my siblings and friends all I have learnt,” she continued, as she thanked Nestlé and her school for the intriguing hands-on experience.

Samuel is one of the over 160 students and teachers from public and private primary schools in the state who got firsthand knowledge of Nestlé Nigeria’s message of responsible and sustainable water management and sanitation for all by 2030 in line with SDG 6. The training was in collaboration with the Ogun State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency and the FCT Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency for students.

Imbibing Right Water Habit Through Tour

Nestlé Nigeria did not only enlighten the participants but also took them on a tour of the company’s water plants in Agbara Ogun state and Abaji, in the Federal Capital Territory. It spiced up the day with exciting games to etch in their minds the proper habits in using, consuming, and managing water. “This is to help them become better stewards of this precious resource, water,” says Victoria Uwadoka, Nestlé’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager. 

While pointing out that water is a scarce resource, Uwadoka lamented the acute water scarcity in many communities across Nigeria. “A city like Lagos may seem to be surrounded by water. But there is not much of it that is safe for drinking or cooking,” she chipped in. “To preserve water into the future, the respect and conservation of water must improve. This is why it is important to educate the children so they imbibe the right habits early.”

The Role of Government in Nestlé’s Initiative

World Water Day is an annual United Nations observance to raise awareness about the importance of water and the impact of our actions on preserving this scarce resource today and for future generations. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Accelerating Change”. 

Leveraging the global day, Nestlé is synergising with the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Universal Basic Education Board, Ogun State, the FCT Universal Basic Education Board and the Nutrition Society of Nigeria to reach more children. 

“World Water Day is another opportunity to emphasise the need for daily consumption of clean water in adequate amounts for optimal hydration and healthy living,” says Mr Sola Ogunbor, the Programme Manager of Ogun State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency.

He said that children could contribute to accelerating the needed change by adopting new behaviours on how they use, consume, and manage water daily to shun wastage.

On her part, the Head of Water Supply, FCT Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Chinyelu Obrike, told participants at the Nestlé’s factory in Abaji that every action, no matter how trivial, will make a difference. 

While describing children as agents of change, Obrike holds dear that children are quick to learn and eager to bequeath what they learn to their friends, peers, teachers and parents. “This educational advocacy will bring the rapid transformative change needed to fast-track the achievement of SDG 6 – water and sanitation for all. We are happy to collaborate with Nestlé Nigeria on this laudable initiative,” she highlighted.

Managing Water for Future Generations

According to research, water is one of the most crucial natural resources for human survival. And the words of the Marketing and Category Manager for Nestlé Waters Nigeria, Joy Abdullahi-Johnson, align well with this notion. Hence, she chorused the mandate of the UN to attain SDG 6 in the next seven years. “Water needs to be managed in a way that is equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial. With the increasing pressure on our water resources, we all need to work together to preserve this vital resource we all depend on.”

At Nestlé, she emphasised, we strive that once equipped with adequate information, children can become good stewards of the environment from an early age. “We are, therefore, excited to be at the forefront of efforts to educate these young ones today,” she chipped in.

Global Statistic on Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Targets

According to the UN SDG Report 2022, the world’s water-related ecosystems are degrading alarmingly. The report also hinted that meeting drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene targets by 2030 requires a four times increase in the pace of progress. It further alarmed that at the current rates, in 2030, 1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water, 2.8 billion people will lack safely managed transition, and 1.9 billion people will lack basic hand hygiene facilities. 

Nestlé Nigeria Reaches 8,000 Children with Healthier Kids Initiative

It is owing to this worrying SDG report that Nestlé Nigeria reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the environment for future generations. “Caring for water is one of the ways we do this,” Uwadoka told THISDAY in an interview. “Thus, we reach over 8,000 children annually with information on healthy hydration and water conservation through the Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative, a school-based nutrition education programme.”  

Indeed, Nestle Nigeria, producers of Milo and Golden Morn, is resiliently working with stakeholders and partners to increase access to clean, safe water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities (WASH) for individuals and families, as well as teachers and students in schools within their host communities. This drive is in its quest to ensure every community in Nigeria has enough safe water for everyone by 2030, seven years from now.

While this water management campaign is in top gear to attain the target by 2030, Nestlé Nigeria believes that every individual reached is one more champion for the planet. “Everyone we reach will be one more advocate for the future,” says Uwadoka. 


Water needs to be managed in a way that is equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial. With the increasing pressure on our water resources, we all need to work together to preserve this vital resource we all depend on

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