Governments, private sector and all well meaning Nigerians have been called upon to recognise the water crisis currently confronting Nigeria as a crisis of governance and weak policies, rather than one of scarcity.
At the commissioning of Oxfam/Guinness Community Water Project in Tyowanye, Buruku Local Government in Benue State, an International Organisation, Oxfam, called on government at all levels and the private sectors to invest in building communities capacity on sustainable water management and also building their resilience to climate change.
Speaking during the event, Oxfam in Nigeria Head of Programs, Mr Constant Tchona, observed that water is the essential building block of life and it is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health. Water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social and human development.
The newly commissioned Community Water Project will reduce the burden faced by about 1500 families 60 percent of which are women, young girls and children in collecting and accessing water in Tyowanye community and environs. The self sustaining motorised solar borehole and VIP toilet will help improve access to safe water as well as sanitation in the area.
The Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr Peter Ndegwa in his remarks said that the Community Water Project in Tyowanye was part of his company’s Water of Life Programme aimed at providing safe drinking water for a million people yearly in Africa.
The programme according to him has delivered water to 10 million people in 18 African Countries since 2007, about 33 communities have benefited from the programme in Nigeria.
The Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom who commissioned the water project called on other good spirited organisations and individuals to emulate Oxfam and Guinness collaboration by complementing government efforts to eradicate poverty in the country.
“Water is life. That’s why we appreciate you for giving our people life. This is a welcome development for us as a people and as a government. Benue State is ready to provide enabling environment for investors and development partners who wish to do business in the state and add value to our economy’’ said Governor Otorm of Benue State.