Samuel Luka, Bauchi
No fewer than four communities in Maiduguri, Borno state are to benefit from water projects, courtesy of WaterAid Nigeria in collaboration with Coca-Cola foundation.
According to a press release signed by the Communication and Media Manager of WaterAid Nigeria, Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik, the projects are going to be funded by Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF).
The Communication and Media Manager said that the project which is expected to be completed within 18-month is targeted at improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services in four communities of Maiduguri Metropolis in Borno State.
Mrs. Oluseyi said that the project, titled ‘Strengthening Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Service Delivery in Borno State, Nigeria (S-WASH), is going to be managed by the Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GETF).
She explained that the intervention is aimed at reaching at least 14,000 people directly in Pompomari, Jiddari Polo, Shehuri and Goman communities in Borno State, with improved water supply service and hygiene promotion.
The project, according to her, plans to construct and rehabilitate four water schemes and provide hand-washing facilities in public locations.
The Communication and Media Manager of WaterAid Nigeria said the project would work to educate people on hygiene practices for maximizing the health benefits of safe water sources and sanitation facilities.
She added that the project will also see to the distribution of hygiene kits to residents in the target locations and at internally displaced people (IDPs) settlements.
Mrs. Oluseyi noted that the project will also support economic empowerment activities for women and youth through WASH-related business opportunities and ensure water quality by strengthening capacity of community-based management models for operations and maintenance.
She further explained that to support the sustainability of the intervention, the project will train local artisans, particularly youth within the community on maintenance, operations, and minor repairs of water supply schemes.
“In addition, the project seeks to train about 30 women to operate, manage, and maintain the water schemes”, Mrs Oluseyi disclosed.
On her part, the President of The Coca-Cola Foundation, Saadia Madsbjerg said Water security is a top priority at the Coca-Cola Foundation.
She noted that the foundation is committed to supporting as many initiatives as it can to reduce water challenges in Africa as well as enhance water resilience as well as improve healthy watersheds in communities.
“We are proud of the collaboration we have with GETF and WaterAid, who bring their expertise to bear and through who we are able to positively impact these 14,000 beneficiaries in Borno, Nigeria”, Saadia said.
Also commenting, Dr Evelyn Mere, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, said equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services in Borno State has been severely hampered by the prolonged humanitarian crisis in the region.
She said that the situation has exposed residents, especially women and children, to diverse kinds of risks, including the threat of attack and a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases.
Evelyn Mere said that the project will contribute to the ongoing emergency response in Borno state by addressing the challenges of water scarcity and poor water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services in the selected communities.
According to her, additionally, hygiene behavior change promotion will help to control the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and cholera within the communities.
Evelyn who described water, sanitation, and hygiene services as critical for upholding human dignity and well-being, said such projects are critical to lifting people out of poverty, unlocking their potential, and supporting them to realize their full rights.