ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- In a bid to ensure all households have and make use of decent toilets while also practicing effective handwashing at critical times in Enugu State, the WaterAid Nigeria has rolled out sanitation and hygiene behaviour change campaigns in several communities across the state.
To achieving this, the WaterAid Nigeria on Tuesday, flagged off the third phase of the “Strengthening Water and Sanitation Delivery in Nigeria project” in Enugu State, which will be sited at Mboshi Aji Community in Igbo Eze North Local Government Area.
The project which is funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and implemented by WaterAid Nigeria in partnership with the Enugu State Government and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) partners, has two components; water facility and sanitation facility.
The water facility will be constructed at Mboshi Aji community while the sanitation facility (public toilet) of both male and female will be sited at Ogurute Market Igbo Eze North Local Government Area.
The third phase is targeted to reach an additional 5,500 people with improved access to WASH services-2,500 people with clean water and 1,500 people with improved sanitation services, while another 1,500 people will benefit from improved hygiene services.
This is even as the state government assured that by 26 November 2023, there will be circulation of portable water supply in Enugu.
The Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr Felix Nnamani disclosed this in his welcome addresses and official launch of the project.
He thanked WaterAid for ensuring that water and sanitation is improved in the state, noting that it is an aspect of our existence in the state.
Recalling the promise made by Governor Peter Mbah on his assumption of office on circulation of portable water in Enugu, Nnamani said there will be water in Enugu metropolis in few days.
He said, “His Excellency promised Enugu people that within 180 days in assumption of office, there is going to be water in Enugu metropolis.
“For Oji River power stations, we have three water projects. Out of the three of them, we have five pumps each, that is 15 of them. Now, nine is already completed, coupled, and ready to give us water.
“We also know that the line from Oji River was also destroyed by erosion, now they put 900mm ductile pipes. It is reconstructed and they are perfectly done waiting for pumping of water on the 26 of November, by the grace of God.
“That he has promised and that he has delivered on. Not only the fact that he has approved all the resources that is required, but the equipment that are in use in Enugu is second to non globally.
“So, the assurances from his Excellency is that we are healthy, that the promise he made to Enugu people, that everybody should expect it, that he is going to launch it, it is realizable.”
He urged WaterAid and major stakeholders in the water sector to let the public know that everything takes gradual process, adding that something that should have taken one year, Governor Mbah has done it in less than six months.
In her open remarks, the Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria Evelyn Mere, who was represented by Eteta Eta, Programme Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting (PMER), said it will continue to implement this project in Enugu State by leveraging existing partnerships with the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation Unit (STU), the State Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) media.
Voiceofnaija.ng reports that the project, which commenced in May 2021 in Bauchi and Enugu states, targets to reach at least 40,000 people with clean water, 3,000 people with safely managed sanitation, and 16,000 people with hygiene promotion in both states.
With the first and second phases successfully implemented in the state, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees (WASHCOMS) and Water Consumers Associations (WCAs) have been established and trained to ensure the effective operations and maintenance of the water facilities provided in Umuogini-Amufie and Ukwuinyi communities.
She said, “The Ukwuinyi water scheme is a 20,000-litre generator-powered motorized borehole with two kiosks providing access to safe drinking water to over 2,000 people, while at Umuogili-Amufie, the facility is a 40,000 liters generator-powered motorized borehole with two kiosks providing access to over 2,500 persons.
“The project has also brought about the provision of two blocks of Sanitation facilities with 4 compartments each at Gariki and Akwata Markets giving access to hygienic sanitation facilities for the traders in these markets. Each of these facilities has a solar-powered motorized well servicing it and a well-trained toilet management committee put in place to managed the facilities.
“Our projects have also renovated and modernized the toilet facility at Community Primary School, Ukwuinyi, provided a modern group handwashing facility for the pupils and teachers. In addition is reticulated pipe-born water to the school so the pupils can have drinking water.”
The WaterAid Nigeria said it is working closely with the State and LGA partners, offering technical support to WASH for improved WASH service delivery in the state.
They also hold strongly that good hygiene practices strongly remain the first line of defence in the prevention of most infectious diseases, hence will continue to work in partnership with critical stakeholders to ensure that while WASH infrastructure is in place, simple habits that will help curb the spread of diseases become a part of us as individuals, families, communities, and a state at large.
WaterAid Nigeria appreciates The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for her commitment to fund the Strengthening Water and Sanitation Delivery in Nigeria project.
Mere further assures Governor Mbah, and the good people of Enugu State, that WaterAid will continue to remain a formidable partner with the state in the delivery of the promise of clean water, improved hygiene, and sanitation for everyone. everywhere, one community at a time.
In her goodwill message, the Chairperson, House Committee on Water Resources, Honourable Obiajulu Princess Ugwu urged Enugu government and the WaterAid to implement supply of hot water and cold water interchangeable.
According to her, this can be a means of generating fund for the government, as it is collaborating with the WaterAid Nigeria.
Speaking also, the Coordinator, Society for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (NEWSAN) Enugu State branch, Enwelum Ogechukwu, said they are using evidence based approach to reach out to the other Local Government Areas.
She thanked the WaterAid for their support on this third phase of strengthing water and sanitation delivery in Enugu.