By Jonathan Ugbal
The Wildlife Conservation Society, WCS has handed over four boreholes it rehabilitated to three communities in Cross River State says Joseph Matthew, the WCS Communications Manager in a statement released on Thursday.
The intervention was done under the Watershed Protection for Safe and Sustainable Water Supply, WATERFALL program funded by the United States Agency for International Development with the aim of ensuring reliable access to safe water supply, thereby reducing the risk of waterborne diseases and improving their overall quality of life.
Two solar-powered boreholes in Aking and Old Netim as well as two hand-pump boreholes in Nsan, all forest-bearing communities in Akamkpa Local Government Area were handed over leading to a direct impact of 3,600 people in the benefitting communities and increasing water security and resilience for 71 communities in four Local Government Areas in the State that depend on the Cross River Watershed.
Commenting on the development, the USAID Deputy Country Director, Dr. Inaoyom Imong disclosed that these were the first of many in the years to come while the USAID/Nigeria’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, WASH Advisor in the Economic Growth and Environment Office, Latif-ur Rahman said this will aid in climate adaptation efforts.
“The Wildlife Conservation Society and its implementing partner, Partners for Development, is happy to be handing over these borehole projects to the communities,” Dr. Imong said, adding that; “Today is the first of many handover ceremonies we will have in the coming years.”
Rahman averred that; “Everyone is entitled to the basic social services that include the provision of safe drinking water. USAID is partnering with the relevant stakeholders in Cross River state to provide safe and climate-resilient drinking water that would not only supply safe drinking water to the community but would also contribute to the climate adaptation efforts.”
The WATERFALL project is executed in Bauchi and Cross River States with 200,000 people targeted across 137 communities to receive help through access to clean and safe drinking water, which is essential for the overall health, hygiene, and well-being of human beings. This is achieved by supporting community-driven watershed management and sanitation initiatives and safeguarding water sources through forest ecosystem conservation, the WCS said.
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, in 2020, said 49 percent of the population in Cross River does not have access to basic water supply services, and 65 percent lack access to basic sanitation services.