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Guinness, Water Aid undertake ‘Water of Life’ project in Kebbi

Guinness, Water Aid undertake ‘Water of Life’ project in Kebbi

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Guinness Nigeria Plc has entered into partnership with WaterAid to ensure sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene, while helping people to improve their health and well-being.

The partnership, which has the Guinness Nigeria’s “Water of Life” programme and WaterAid Nigeria working with Kebbi State government through the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (Kebbi RUWASSA), with the technical support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in implementing a sustainable water project to contribute to building thriving communities in the state, is aimed at providing inclusive access to clean water to an estimated 2,500 people in D’kwa village, Danko/Wasugu LGA in Kebbi. It is to strengthen the community management structures’ capacity to support sustained operations of the water facility model.

The water facility is expected to alleviate water challenges faced by D’kwa community, which is largely a farming community where many households rely on unsafe shallow wells and other unimproved surface sources for their supply of drinking water.

During the dry season from November to January, residents usually have to walk for two to three kilometres to get water from a stream. This scarcity, according to WaterAid, disproportionately affects women and girls, putting them at greater physical risk, as many households rely on them to fetch water from these distances in areas  prone to sand storms.

Speaking on the project, Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc., Mrs. Viola Graham-Douglas, said: “The Guinness Nigeria ‘Water of Life’ programme is aimed at providing access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene in order to reduce poverty, promote better health, wellbeing, gender equality and empower women and girls. We’re working with key partners to shine a light on these issues and find lasting solutions, one community at a time.

“This project is also expected to support local development as the financial model to manage the water point will also help small businesses to thrive and make local financing fund pool available to support larger community development initiatives. This supports Guinness Nigeria’s focus on supporting local livelihoods and prosperous rural economies.”

According to WaterAid, overall, access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services has remained low in Nigeria. A UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme, said about 60 million people out of about 190million population still lack access to clean water, while only 33 per cent has access to basic sanitation. This means approximately, about 120 million people in Nigeria do not have access to toilet facilities.

WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Dr. ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye, said: “Water, sanitation and hygiene remained some of the most neglected issues in our country today. At WaterAid, our work is all about transforming lives by improving access to these life-saving services for the poorest and most marginalised in our society.

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