By Gabriel Olawale
IN line with their collective determination to help rural communities in Nigeria access safe and clean water, Guinness Nigeria and Diageo Foundation teamed-up with Concern Universal to deliver 10 boreholes in three Local Government Areas in Cross River State. The initiative, aimed to help beneficiary communities improve their hygiene with access to safe water marked the 10 year-old ‘Diageo Water of Life project’.
At the unveiling of the new boreholes, the Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Sesan Sobowale said that Guinness Nigeria recognizes that millions of people still do not have access to clean and safe water.
“One in five people around the world cannot access safe drinking water; and in Nigeria, 63 million people do not have access to clean water. This is why Guinness Nigeria and the Diageo Foundation teamed up with Concern Universal to provide clean water for rural communities in Cross River State. Our partnership leverages our collective strengths to help beneficiary communities improve their water, sanitation, and hygiene, and ultimately, their health.”
“In line with the objective of the programme, 10 boreholes have been provided for communities in Abi, Dekwara and Obandikwu local government areas of Cross River State to promote improve hygiene and sanitation for resident of these communities.”
“Since the flagship of our ‘Diageo Water of Life project’ which was launched 10 years ago, we have constructed water facilities in 35 communities across 14 states in Nigeria and through this water project, Guinness Nigeria has helped thousand of Nigeria families access clean water and ultimately improve their overall health and well being.”
“Record shows that communities that lack access to safe and clean water witness several of deadly disease such as diarrheal, cholera and typhoid, by enable more Nigerians access clean water we belief we have play an important role in disease burden in beneficiary communities,” he added.
On his part, Country Director, Concern Universal, Tim Kellow said that with the new 10 added boreholes they have helped more than 6,000 people in ten communities to access safe drinking ‘water while also trained 120 community members on basic borehole maintenance and water resource management.
Explaining the procedure of selection, Kellow said that they ensures that the provision of water points complements, rather than undermines, the critical behavior change process, “hand-pump boreholes are only provided once communities sustainably end open defecation.
New water points are then maintained by inclusive ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees’, each with 50 percent female membership, who are provided a toolbox, set of spare parts, and intensive hands-on training in borehole repair in the case of future breakdowns. Committee members are also facilitated to develop their own water management plans, including financing future repairs and conserving water during drier seasons.”