Tabitha Cumi Foundation and Mercy Corps Nigeria collaborated with Procter and Gamble on the Always Keeping Girls In School (AKGIS) Project, as part of the larger Educating Nigerian Girls In New Enterprises (ENGINE) II programme. AKGIS project was designed to mitigate challenges menstruating school girls face and the associated potential risk and consequences by improving their knowledge, attitudes and practices around menstrual hygiene management in 29 schools in the FCT.
These challenges led to an analytical and thorough study on the State of Public Schools’ Menstrual Health Management which incorporates the assessment of water, Sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and the gender needs assessment. Consequently, a lot of gaps were identified in terms of the availability, functionality and coverage of WASH facilities in the targeted schools. The identified gaps necessitated the team to seek for accurate information on the individual peculiar gaps in a school and the specific manner to consciously guide the interventions to be provided.
Also, a principals’ interaction meeting was organized to disseminate findings, gather more information from them on the state of WASH as a means of validating the studies initially conducted. Thereafter, the data gathered from the Gender Needs Assessment carried out was analysed based on Sex and Age Disaggregated Data. The assessment reveals that the population of girls in the schools outnumber the boy counterparts, yet no adequate provision of WASH facilities. WASH facilities in 14 schools were refurbished and water was provided in 5 schools.
Furthermore, recommendations were proffered on involvement of the government agencies, Education Secretariat (UBEB and SEB) and other relevant stakeholders in formulating girl-friendly policies, provision of adequate facilities in schools especially toilets being separated for boys and girls and enlightening the education board on effective sanitary hygiene.