In line with its desire to provide access to water to its rural inhabitants, the Cross River State Government is partnering with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well bottling company Coca Cola to provide water to its rural inhabitants.
The partnership will ensure that remote communities in cross river state have access to water at little or no cost there by mitigating the challenges associated with access to water by the rural dwellers.
Speaking in Ndon Owong community in Odukpani local government area in the state while inaugurating a solar powered borehole in the community, the Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade commended the development partners for the confidence reposed in it as well as partnering with it to bring succour to the rural dwellers.
The governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Water Resources, Gab Odu-Oji said the government will continue providing a conducive environment for development partners in the state stressing that the facility will help mitigate water based challenges in the community.
“With the formal inauguration of this plant, the challenges associated with access to water will be curtailed. We commend the partners particularly USAID and Coca Cola for choosing the community to benefit form this scheme.
“We are happy to see what the partners have done here. Several of this has been executed in the state this year and we are indebted to them for aiding in developing Nigeria and Cross River State in particular”, he said.
While charging the community to make the most of the facility, he said to whom much is given, much is also expected emphasizing that the community should take ownership of the project and not see it as a dash.
Also speaking, the Country Director of USAID, Stephen Haykin said the said the facility was made possible through the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project which is funded through the Water and development Alliance (WADA) Mechanism, a global partnership between USAID and the Coca Cola Foundation.
He said the overall goal of the project was to collaborate with the Cross River State as well AS Abia State governments to improve and expand access to safe, affordable, sustainable and reliable water and sanitation services.
According to him, the WASH programme in both states will cover 58 rural communities in both states and serve at least 56, 000 beneficiaries..
A representative of the community and chairman of the Federation of WASHCOM in Odukpani, Nsa Ekeng commended the government as well as the development partners for coming to the aid of the community.
“We commend the government as well as its development partners who deem it fit to invest these huge resources for us the Odukpani people”.
He said the community’s efforts at promoting and monitoring the three domains of hygiene , which are the embodiment of WASH, have yielded positive results. He said as part of its desire to promote hygiene and sanitation, WASHCOM has been moving from household to household, cluster by cluster, community by community promoting and monitoring the compliance to safe sanitation and hygiene practices.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, several measures have been put in place including training of 94 water caretakers to monitor the daily use of the facility, 34 trained local mechanics to ensure routine maintenance as well a spare parts dealer to supply appropriate spare parts at the appropriate price.
Besides the solar powered borehole, which will serve over 3,500 people, the government also commissioned a toilet and sanitation facility at the Government Primary School, Ndon Nwong community for the benefit of the people.