No fewer than 10 local communities in Delta, Ondo and Imo States are expected to benefit from Clean Water Initiative project.
The Clean Water Initiative is a programme of HACEY Health Initiative with support from Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation.
Stakeholders of the HACEY Health initiative with support from Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation had launched the clean Water initiative project in 2017 as part of efforts to fulfilling its core mission of providing a healthy and safe environment.
To this end, the stakeholders called for more collaborative efforts with development partners to deepen the initiative with improved access to portable water across the three states of Ondo, Imo, Delta States and other underserved communities.
The initial efforts of the initiative was geared at improving access to portable water in rural and underserved communities across Nigeria. So far, the initiative has provided electricity-powered boreholes and training on water, sanitation and hygiene best practices to over 150,000 people in 65 communities across Nigeria and provided over 60 boreholes.
The project, aims to increase the availability of basic WASH information and services in five primary healthcare centres and five public schools across Ondo, Imo and Delta States through the installation of electricity-powered boreholes, handwashing stations and capacity building sessions on safe water and proper sanitation and hygiene practices (WASH).
In a stakeholder meeting organised by HACEY, they discussed project objectives, roles and participation of stakeholders in the implementation and sustainability of the WASH implementation.
While addressing stakeholders at the engagement meeting, Project Lead of Water Initiative at HACEY Health Initiative, Chioma Osakwe, explained that the project aimed to reduce WASH-related diseases in 10 local communities in Delta, Ondo and Imo states by increasing access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene information and service.
Osakwe added that the initiative intends to build the capacities of the health and education workforce in project communities as well as enhance the knowledge of community members on proper water, sanitation and hygiene practices to promote sustained efforts towards achieving project goals and objectives.
Giving the welcome address, Imo State Commissioner of Health represented by Mrs Morah Chux-Okoro, Permanent Secretary of Health, stated that poor access to portable water in most communities has had a deleterious effect on health and productivity of its population, especially for women and girls.
Chux-Okoro also commended the efforts of HACEY and ACT Foundation in improving the WASH situation in Imo State.
Also speaking, Director of Public Health for Imo State, Dr Okeji Austine, noted that there has been an increased incidence of infectious diseases resulting from the poor WASH situation in the state and there couldn’t have been a better time to implement the WASH project.
Austine emphasised the need for strengthened collaborative efforts amongst stakeholders towards ensuring project sustainability, adding that the Clean Water Initiative Project should be a tool for advocacy both in the community and state level.
The stakeholders meeting facilitated discussions such as representatives from the Ministry of Health and Education, community development association as well as health officers and the education workforce in project locations on adopting effective strategies to ensure the successful implementation and sustainability of the project. During the discussions, issues such as security, maintenance and project scale-up were addressed with stakeholders proffering practicable solutions to issues highlighted.
Stakeholders were encouraged to possess a sense of ownership as it relates to the Clean Water Initiative project and other community development projects/activities.
The clean water project is set to increase availability and access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene information and services which will help improve the lack of sanitation facilities in the country as World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that an estimated 100 million Nigerians lack basic sanitation facilities and 63 million do not have access to improved source of drinking-water.