WaterAid Nigeria on Tuesday inaugurated a 245,000-litre capacity borehole for Umabor community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Inaugurating the borehole, Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State commended WaterAid Nigeria for the project which he said would provide the community with potable water and improve its sanitation.
“I also commend in a special way Coca-Cola Foundation and Rain Water Africa for financing the project that will improve people’s access to clean water,” he said.
Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Water Resources, Mr Dubem Onyia Jr, urged residents of Umabor to make judicious use of the borehole and ensured its maintenance.
Speaking, Ms Evelyn Mere, the Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, said the water project was aimed at improving the lives of poor people through expansion of access to clean water as well as improving sanitation and hygiene.
Mere said the project would also encourage state and local governments and civil societies to support communities in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) management structures to ensure sustainability of the intervention.
Mere commended Ugwuanyi, Ministry of Water Resources and other agencies with mandate in the WASH sector for their encouragement and urged them to keep it up.
“We must work to sustain and consolidate on the gains of the project and accelerate universal access to water and sanitation by 2030.
“I appreciate Coca-Cola Foundation and Rain Water Africa for sponsoring the project that will ensure more people have access to potable water,” she said.
The director said the project lasted for 14 months before completion, adding that some people in the community had been trained on how to maintain and repair the borehole.
Earlier, Chief Anthony Ugwuja, the President General of Umabor community expressed appreciation for the project saying that the community would ever remain grateful.
Ugwuja said that the community had suffered a lot in search of water.
“Umabor community has suffered poor environmental sanitation due to lack of water.
“Before now, our people travelled more than two kilometres in search of potable water.
“Most often, our young girls and married women have been molested or raped on their way in search of water,” he said.
The President General said the water project built for the community was a prayer answered by God and pledged to guard the project jealously.
“Our children at times do not go to school or go late because they had no water to take their bath.
“Umabor community will forever remain grateful to WaterAid, Coca Cola Foundation, Water Rain Africa, Enugu state government and all who contributed to make the water project a reality,” he said.
He said the community would do everything possible to guard the project so that the people of Umuabor would continue to enjoy potable water.
Some of the residents interviewed by NAN, said their happiness knew no bound as they would no longer travel kilometers in search of water.
They said they would anything within their capacities to safeguard the water bole-hole from being vandalized.
Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu