From left: Enugu state Special adviser on Water Resources, Hon Dubem Onyia[jnr], Mr Adebayo Alao and Mrs Evelyn Mere,Country director, WaterAid Nigeria, watch as a rural dweller from Umabor community fetch water from the motorised water scheme, constructed for their community. PHOTO:MAURICE OKAFOR.
MAURICE OKAFOR writes that in the words of Chief Anthony Ugwuja, the President General of Umabor Community, Ehalumona, in Nsukka local government area of Enugu state, perennial scarcity of water had adversely impacted on the socio economic and wellbeing of their rural dwellers, based on the fact that their women and young girls were in the habit of trekking a distance of over two kilometres in search of water, whether portable or not from the nearby villages.
But he is presently full of praises to God Almighty as ‘WaterAid’ an international not for profit organization’ in partnership with Enugu state government with support from ‘The Coca Cola Foundation[TCCF],Replenish Africa Initiative[RAIN] have solved the perennial water scarcity of the community.
Over a period of 19 months, the WaterAid partnership initiatives influenced the construction of a motorised water scheme in the village, comprising of some boreholes, pumping machine, overhead tank where the water is stored and water house with tap outlets from which clean water sourced from the borehole is sold to members of the community at a very reduced cost.
WaterAid aid under it’s programme of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees[WASHCOMS] and Water Consumers Associations[WCAS], trained some women and some Youths of the community on technicalities to operate and effect repairs of the borehole, hand pumps etc.
The Country director of ‘WaterAid Nigeria’ Mrs Evelyn Mere, who witnessed the handover of the scheme to Enugu state government and Umabor community on November 24,emphasized that the organization is working in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people.
She stated, ‘However, it is important to note that the journey to improving access to water and sanitation has not ended. It has just only begun. We must work to sustain and consolidate on the gains of the project and accelerate universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. We urge the implementing CSO, the South Saharan Development Organization and other CS0’s to continue to advocate for improved WASH access in the state and to promote citizen engagement to deliver on sustainable WASH services’
The AUTHORITY South East post checks found out that the Umabor community rural dwellers among themselves resolved to be selling a 25 litre Jerry can of water from the water scheme at a reduced cost of ten naira[N10] among the community rural dwellers. The strategy is an economic measure of generating money for servicing and maintenance of the water scheme, as well as monthly stipends to some members of the community engaged in the process.
The ‘WaterAid Nigeria’ within 19 months period also facilitated the construction of five new boreholes equipped with hand pumps at Ugwuaji community in Enugu South local government area of Enugu state, whereas 11 boreholes with hand pump machines were rehabilitated in Isi-Uzo and Uzo-Uwani axis of the state, while one solar powered motorised borehole was rehabilitated in Ezeagu local government area, the ‘WaterAid Nigeria’ Country director, Mrs Evelyn Mere disclosed.