WaterAid has partnered with Cummins W.A to impact about 186, 000 people with life- transforming water, sanitation and hygiene project to be sited within communities in Lagos and Abuja.
Newsmen reports that the project would provide water and sanitation facilities as well as hygiene promotion and education to improve hygiene behavior in the intervention areas.
Speaking at the inauguration of the project Lagos on Wednesday, Evelyn Mere, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, said:
“One in ten people still don’t have even a basic supply of clean water close to home. A lack of access to this life-saving service means women are left to bear the brunt of walking miles and spending valuable hours in collecting water.
Everyone can live a more fulfilled, dignified and healthy life with the opportunities that safe water, sanitation and hygiene brings.
“WaterAid Nigeria will continue to collaborate to transform lives, deliver on desired health outcomes, address the global water crisis and improve sanitation in Abuja and Lagos.”
According to WaterAid Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos State are two of Nigeria’s fastest growing cities where rapid, unpredictable and unplanned population growth, limited government capacity, lack of maintenance and overuse has added pressure on existing water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.
Alluding to the 2021 WASHNORM statistics, WaterAid said that 45 of people in Lagos State lack basic water supply services, 38 per cent lack access to sanitation and 65 per cent do not have access to hygiene services.
It added the statistics showed that in Abuja, 82 per cent of the population do not have access to safely managed water supply services, 48 per cent lack access to sanitation, 82 per cent do not have access to hygiene services and 30 per cent of the population practice open defecation.
It said that Women and girls collectively spend 200 million hours every day fetching water which considerably lessens the time available to spend with their families, address other household tasks or incoming-generating activities, which could uplift themselves and their families out of poverty.
The Managing Director of Cummins West Africa Ltd, Merk Oni- Okeke, in a goodwill message said:
“Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene are fundamental rights of every human being, most especially mothers and children who need access to clean water, proper sanitation practices and a healthy environment to ensure the families live better lives.
‘ With these available, we would be one step closer to creating a society that fosters healthy living as a priority for every individual without discrimination.”
“As an organization, we are investing in the improvement of lives of persons in the communities where we have presence.
“We believe that our partnership with WaterAid Nigeria to implement the WASH project in Nigeria, starting with Lagos and Abuja, will create tremendous impact in the lives of the beneficiaries and their respective communities.
“With our employees serving as volunteers in the project, alongside the WaterAid team, we would be reemphasizing and living out our culture of care.”
In his goodwill message to the event, Mr Nurudeen Shodeinde, Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, thanked WaterAid and Cummins for the project.
Represented by Mr Babatunde Akinwumi, Shodeinde noted that the project would impact positively on the schools and correctional centers within the state, where it would be cited.
He noted that the Lagos state government had been partnering with WaterAid to improve sanitation and hygiene in the state, adding that with Cummins coming on board, the ministry would be looking forward to a shared success.
Other goodwill messages were sent from the schools and Local Council Development Areas where the project would be cited.
Newsmen reports that the project would build the capacity of women to be a part of decision-making processes.
The project would capitalize on successful partnerships to influence and strengthen the WASH sector in Abuja and Lagos for the expansion of access to water, sanitation and hygiene..