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D’Ka Community Hails Guinness Nigeria For Clean Water Project Commissioning

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Guinness Nigeria in partnership with WaterAid and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA Kebbi) recently commissioned a solar powered water facility, in order to provide an easily accessible source of clean drinking water to the residents of the D’Ka community.  At the commissioning, ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM was able gain a first-hand understanding of the experience of residents before and after the provision of clean water

D’Ka is a small settlement in Danko Wasagu Local Government Area (LGA) in Kebbi State, which is home to about 3,000 inhabitants.

The truth held in the popular saying, “water is life” cannot be over-emphasized. Water will always be the most essential element for the survival of life on earth. Despite water being a basic need of all humans, full access to clean and usable water has not been achieved for all of the world’s people.

A 2016 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), indicated that 844 million people lack basic drinking-water, including 159 million people who are dependent on surface water.

In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 319 million people are without access to reliable drinking water sources and in most developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions. The people of the D’ka community in the Danko Wasagu LGA of Kebbi State, were a community which falls into this category. With the intervention of Guinness Nigeria Plc and WaterAid, their story has changed for the better. This simple intervention has brought joy, hope and a chance for better health, to the D’ka people.

According to Mr. Dan Baba Abubakar the Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) Coordinator of Danko Wasagu LGA, and a resident of the D’ka community, “D’ka is a settlement that has been in existence for over 200 years and is currently home to about 300 households, which accounts for almost 3000 people”. Like most rural areas, D’ka is a remote community, not connected to the national grid and is difficult to access by road.

Mr. Abubakar further explained that historically, D’ka has had very little access to potable water for domestic and occupational use. To access clean water, community members had to walk over 10 kilometers daily.

The intervention of Guinness Nigeria Plc, which has provided a solar powered water facility, will have immeasurable impact, saving countless hours and lives for the people of D’ka. The introduction of the water facility to D’ka community is not just a turning point in the history of infrastructure in the community, but also a source of joy and hope to community members.

Mr. Gabriel Malgo, a farmer in D’ka recounted what he faced daily in search of water. Malgo said, “before this water facility came to us, we were suffering. There is a place we go to get water, and it takes us about 3 to 5 hours to get there. And when we get there, we will have to wait for the water to gather up before we can fetch, so to get water, we have to go out very early in the morning and return when the sun is already up. But with this water facility we are happy because we can now have water in our houses and feel like human beings too.”

Women in the D’ka community seem to be the most grateful for the water facility, as it has taken a great deal off their shoulders. In water deprived communities, the women are usually the ones saddled with the responsibility of fetching water, because they have more use for it, with regards to cooking, bathing children, and other household work. Mrs. Jamila Usman, a mother to young children, expressed the relief the water facility brings to her and other women in the community saying, “Before the coming of the water facility, right from when I was a young girl, we were always finding it hard to get water for drinking, cooking, washing and even bathing.

Up until the time I got married here, water was still a problem. The only water we had was not clean, but we still used it. But today we thank God and we thank Guinness Nigeria for bringing us water, it will help reduce the stress we go through.”

The accessible, clean water Guinness Nigeria has provided the people of D’ka will no doubt be a boost for economic and social development. D’ka is primarily an agrarian community, with millet and guinea corn as their major produce, this is in addition to cattle rearing and other engagements such as trading. With the presence of this water facility, businesses will be more productive and profitable, and D’ka will experience an influx of people from other communities, thereby upgrading the area to a semi-urban settlement. This is the sentiment shared by most residents of D’ka community.

Mr. Musa Dani, a herbal medicine practitioner in D’ka says, “This development will open up our community, and open up our roads, in fact, if this kind of development can come to us, then I believe D’ka can produce a president that will rule Nigeria, because very soon we will get schools that our children can attend and we will be able to farm and sell our products and get money to pay their fees. Gradually, they will go further in life to become governors and ministers.”

The commendations for Guinness Nigeria did not come only from the members of the D’ka community, the local government chairman of Danko Wasagu, officials of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) and WaterAid, who were also collaborators on the project expressed their appreciation and pleasure to work alongside Guinness Nigeria in order to bring the project to reality. According to Mr. Gerald Ogoko, the Coordinator, Strategic Partnership and Grants Management of WaterAid, “We are very happy on the partnership with Guinness Nigeria to provide water to this community, and we hope for more reasons to work together.

Through this water of life initiative, we hope to be able to get water to reach the most marginalized communities in Nigeria.” Guinness Nigeria on their own part, and through the installment of this water facility in D’ka, has reaffirmed their commitment in taking up sustainable development initiatives in line with the United Nations Sustainable Developmental Goal’s, which work to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.

Guinness Nigeria Plc understands the plight of communities with no access to water, hence its launching this solar powered water facility for D’ka. This is a part of Diageo’s; Guinness Nigeria’s parent company, Water of Life programme – a project that provides access to clean drinking water. So far, 22 of such water schemes has been completed in 16 states across Nigeria, and Guinness Nigeria plans on providing more clean, accessible water to millions of Nigerians through the coming years.

 

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