A water scheme with capacity for 20, 000 gallons has been inaugurated in Agbere, a community in Bayelsa State. The facility will serve over 5,000 residents.
The gesture was courtesy of Oando Plc. and its Joint Venture (JV) partners the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
According to the Oando representative at the inauguration, “the initiative is grounded in the fact that water is a fundamental human need. Each person requires at least 20 to 50 litres of clean, safe water, daily, for drinking, cooking and simply keeping themselves clean. Sadly, today in Nigeria, there is an alarming dearth of access to clean water and at Oando, we want to bridge this gap, especially in our host communities.”
The water scheme will drastically reduce water-borne diseases in the community such as typhoid fever, cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A to name a few.
It will also reduce the amount of time spent looking for water, especially in rural areas, as noted by UNICEF that 19 million Nigerians walk long distances in search of “unsafe water from lakes, streams and rivers”.
One could say that Oando and its JV partners heeded the words of UNICEF Communications Specialist, Eva Hinds, who said: “Improving water and sanitation services as well as basic hygiene practices in Nigeria, calls for strong commitment from all partners-the Government, civil society, the private sector and communities.”
He said: “For Nigeria to achieve the global goal of providing access to safe water for every citizen by 2030, it needs to make water, together with sanitation and hygiene, a national priority. This goal is closely linked with three key results for the country-good health, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.”
The water scheme, in line with goal six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ‘Ensure Access to Water and Sanitation for all”, will also reduce infant mortality rates in the Agbere community as diarrhoea a water borne disease remains the leading cause of death amongst children under ?ve years of age in Nigeria.
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