NIGERIA: Project provides clean water for drinking, hygiene
People living in 4 poor communities have access to clean water thanks to the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 22, 2022) People living in four poor communities in the Kebbi State of Nigeria have access to clean water thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The project, part of the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative,” provided borewells in the communities of Koko, Tarsha Dan Isah, Tunga Noma and Tunga Dikko.
Prior to this project, people in these communities had to use dirty pond water and depend on unhygienic stream water and rainwater. The health and social implications of utilizing this water were having devastating effects on the communities. In addition, women and children were responsible for searching for water far from their homes, which put them at risk of violence.
Father Anthony Ekezie, who oversaw the project, noted, “The new water sources have brought back life to thousands of poor women, girls, boys and men in the four rural villages. Now, people have access to safe water and can obtain the recommended daily water consumption of the United Nations. Apart from having clean water to drink, the people have enough to adhere to the regular washing of hands to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.”
U.N.-Water estimates that worldwide 2.2 billion people are living without access to safe water. One in four primary schools has no drinking water service, with students using unprotected water sources or going thirsty. In addition, U.N.-Water notes that more than 700 children under age 5 die every day from diarrheal disease linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.
Salesian Missions has made it a priority that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those they serve. Improving water access brings a sense of dignity to people and promotes proper hygiene. It also reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that impact children and families.
According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By U.N. 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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