Ben Dunno, Warri
Determined to reduce the effects of water-borne diseases in rural communities, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), have donated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, (WASH) projects in some remote settlements in Delta state.
The projects embarked upon by Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa) and its implementation partner, West Africa Network for Peace in Nigeria (WANEP), was specifically designed to bring a new lease of life to the locals.
The benefitting communities includes; Igbide and Uzere in Isoko South Local Government Area as well as Emu Uno and Ogbe Ani in Ndokwa West Council area in Delta state.
The project whose conception, construction and completion span over 20 months was funded by the European Union through the Nigerian Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
Specifically the projects that have been commissioned and handed over to the communities includes; the construction of a mini solar powered water bore hole at Emu uno and Igbide in both Council areas.
Others are the rehabilitation of existing mini solar powered water bore hole at Uzere and Ogba Ani, as well as the construction of a mini solar powered water project and Ecology and Sanitary, (ECOSAN) toilets at both Igbide and Emu uno Communities.
The communities were said to have been experiencing hardships as a result of poor access to good sources of water and sanitation services.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony of the projects to the Communities, Tolu Oyero who represented the Executive Director of LITE-Africa, Mr. Joel Bisina, urged the communities to safeguard the projects in their domains.
While admonishing the community members to work hard towards the promotion of the sustainability of the protects, he said, “these projects are yours, maintain and ensure the security of the properties.”
Responding the IWASH Water and Sanitation Committee WATSAN Chairman of Igbide, Uzere, Emu-Uno, and Ogba Ani communities expressed appreciation to the European Union (EU) and Ministry of Budget and National Planning (MBNP) for bringing the projects to their communities and pleaded for more projects.
The communities noted that the projects will go a long way in improving the living standards of indigenes in those localities where they were being cited.
Also speaking, a representative from the Delta State Ministry of water resources Mr. Ben Iwezu, expressed gratitude that the projects were duly delivered by LITE-Africa and the EU.
He appealed the community members to jealously guard the project, noting that the sustainability of the project was important to the government of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State
On his own part.
In the same vein, the Project Manager, Mr. Victor Elomhenriaomon, stressed the need for the communities to properly maintain the projects, adding that safety of the projects should be of utmost priority.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Iheanyichukwu Iheke; the program officer LITE-Africa implored community members to ensure the sustainability of the project.
He thanked everyone who participated one way or the other in the commissioning/hand over caremony of the projects.
Also, Mr. Collins Owunin of WENAP, thanked the EU and MBNP for entrusting LITE-Africa and WANEP the great opportunity to implement the IWASH project.
By donating these projects, LITE-Africa and the EU hope that the instances of WASH related diseases would be reduced and the lives of these communities would be enhanced.
The IWASH project, according to Iheanyi Iheke, was meant to provide access to sustainable water supply, sanitation, services delivery and proper hygiene practices in parts of Delta state.
It was implemented in seven communities of Uzere, Aviara, and Igbide in Isoko south and Ogbe Ani, Lagos Ogbe, Emu Ebendo and Emu-Uno in Ndokwa West local government.