WaterAid Nigeria has launched an 18-month project to improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene service in four communities in Maiduguri and environs.
The project funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) is expected to directly benefit 14,000 people in Pompomari, Jiddari-Polo, Shehuri and Gommari communities.
In her address at the occassion on Tuesday, the Country Director, Evelyn Mere, said the project known as S-WASH plans to construct and rehabilitate four water schemes and provide hand washing facilities in public locations.
Mere said that the project would also educate the people of affected communities on hygiene practices to maximise the health benefits of safe water sources and sanitation facilities.
“The project also aims to 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.
“To support the sustainability of the intervention, the project aims to 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,” Mere said.
In his remarks, the Borno Commissioner of Water Resources, Engr. Tijjani Goni lauded the project aimed at strengthening water and sanitation which he said are crucial to human health, sustainable development, and economic growth.
“The project which aims at increasing access to clean water and good hygiene services for about 14,000 beneficiaries across four communities within and around the metropolis will no doubt contribute to ongoing emergency response to the challenges of water, sanitation and hygiene activities in the state especially among displaced host communities.
“The partnership between coca-cola and WaterAid Nigeria is a welcome development as it presents a good opportunity to further the government effort to increase access to quality WASH service delivery in the state,” Goni said.
In his remarks, the representative of Coca-cola, Mr Mohammed Aminu, said this was not the first of it’s kind interventions by the company in Borno as it has been supporting the state in such areas, particularly in providing food and non food items for displaced persons affected by the insurgency.
Aminu said there are more projects coming from the company.
Representatives of the benefitting communities who spoke, lauded the support and the positive impact it would have in improving thier lives, and urged other organisations to emulate Coca-cola.