NIGERIA: Villagers in Akwa Umuikwele have access to clean water
New water borehole made possible thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 1, 2022) People living in the village of Akwa Umuikwele in 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 ensure the safety of women and children searching for water.
The 12,900 residents in Akwa Umuikwele depend on streams from neighboring villages to survive. Making the journey to distant communities has put a heavy burden on the villagers. With the new borehole, girls and women—who shoulder most of the stress of getting water—will be relieved of the burden. The new borewell will impact more than 12,000 people annually.
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. This reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that impact children and families.
Recently, people living in the villages of Abajah and Mbaukwu in Nigeria also gained access to clean water thanks to funding from the “Clean Water Initiative.”
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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