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5 LGAs Benefit From N300m Water Project In Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) through its flagship programme, the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) in partnership with WaterAid, has enhanced water supply in five Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Enugu State with the completion of a N300 million water project.

TCCF is an entity funded through Coca-Cola that implements community development programmes throughout Africa and it has committed resources and also collaborating with partners to provide communities with improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation through the RAIN.

Launched in 2009, RAIN is Coca-Cola’s response to the water crises communities across Africa are facing. It will reach 6 million people across Africa with improved access to safe water by the end of this year.

The project brought sustainable clean water and sanitation to over 10,000 residents in and around Nsukka, Ezeagu, Uzo-Uwani, Isiuzo and Enugu South local government areas of the state. This was disclosed during a ceremony to mark the completion/handover of the project.

In addition, the project is aimed at improving the lives of poor people in under-resourced communities in Enugu State through the expansion of access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and also promotes income generating businesses for women, girls and youth.

In spite of the slow progress nationally, state’s WASH access rate is still low, especially in the face of rapid population growth and increasing urbanisation. Recent data shows that only 38 percent of the state’s population has access to decent sanitation, with 40 percent still defecating in the open.

Moreover, about 28 percent of the population is without access to basic water supply services, relying on contaminated streams and rivers, unlined and unprotected wells to meet their needs. 

To help address some of these challenges, one motorised water scheme was constructed in Umuabor in Nsukka LGA; five new boreholes equipped with hand pumps were constructed at Ugwuaji community, Enugu South LGA; 11 boreholes were rehabilitated with hand pumps in Isi-Uzo, Uzo-Uwani LGAs; and one solar powered motorised borehole was rehabilitated in Ezeagu LGA in Enugu State.

In addition, these infrastructures were followed with the formation and training of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees (WASHCOMS) and Water Consumers Associations (WCAS) in host communities, which economically empowered members, 50 of whom were women and youth, in borehole hand pump repairs.

The Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe said his organization strongly believes that access to sustainable water and sanitation is one of the hallmarks of community development and one that catalyzes sustainable enterprise development.

“The imperative of health and wellness through improved hygiene cannot be over-emphasized in the era of COVID-19 pandemic. We are hopeful that these facilities will sustainably enhance the health and wellness of the beneficiary communities.

“We are excited to be part of this and several partnership opportunities to deliver on this ambitious 10-year goal. RAIN is The Coca-Cola Foundation’s flagship community programme contributing to helping Africa achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation access (SDG 6)”. 

Also in her remarks, the Country Director of WaterAid, Evelyn Mere said she was delighted that the project had delivered on its objectives of providing over 10,000 residents with clean water and sanitation as well as stimulating grassroots economic empowerment.

“WaterAid is proud to have been part of this project and the partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised through improved access to sustainable clean water and sanitation”, she added.

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, according to her, are fundamental to improving lives, health, livelihoods, gender equality, education outcomes and for driving economic and sustainable development.

While applauding the project, the Special Adviser to the Enugu State Governor on Water Resources, Hon. Anthony Dubem Onyia said the State Ministry of Water Resources and by extension, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, appreciates TCCF’s flagship initiative and WaterAid for the execution of the project.

“The establishment of the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) in communities has put us on the right track to ensuring sustainable and inclusive sanitation for everyone. The selection and training of sanitation business owners, door to door agents and scheme operators has also economically benefitted residents while expanding access to clean water and sanitation”, he stressed.

Hon. Dubem also assured that the ministry was committed to ensuring sustainable use and maintenance of the water schemes to the benefit of the host communities.

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