NIGERIA: Borehole project supplies clean water, prevents disease
The Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’ provides funding for clean water access in Nkerefi community.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 25, 2021) People living in the Nkerefi community in the Enugu state of Nigeria have access to clean water thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The funding provided for the implementation of a new water borehole. This will contribute to the livelihood of the local community, curtail the outbreak of waterborne diseases and infections, and help reduce the rate of women and infant mortality.
Nkerefi is made up of the four communities of Enuogu-Nkerefi, Ohuani-Nkerefi, Isienu Amofu Nkerefi and Imeoha Nkerefi. Each of these communities is made up of different villages and clans. Clean water is a scarce commodity in Nkerefi. The majority of families depend on a small, brownish stream called Evuna that partially runs through parts of the villages.
The Evuna stream is the only accessible water source for drinking, bathing, washing and cooking. The stream is seasonal, however, and dries up during the dry season. As a result, there is a severe shortage of potable water as few people can afford to develop wells due to the cost and the hard nature of the soil.
In addition, the Evuna water has been clinically confirmed to not be hygienic for consumption, especially drinking. The stream has been a source for waterborne-related diseases. There have been outbreaks of cholera, ringworm, tapeworms, acute diarrhea and dysentery linked to the water. Typhoid fever is also a disease among the inhabitants of the community, and each year there are a number of women and children lost to the disease.
“We are pleased to be able to help support clean water access in this community, especially give all the health concerns the current water supply has caused,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The new borehole will provide potable water that will save the community from avoidable waterborne diseases and infections caused by heavy dependence on stream water and rainwater.”
According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By United Nations estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050. While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.
About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.
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