Guinness Nigeria Plc has donated seven hand pump water boreholes to Bebi Community in Obanliku Local Government Area (LGA) of Cross River State.
The donated boreholes (which will provide more than 7,000 persons with year-round access to safe drinking water) were unveiled at a commissioning ceremony which the company held to mark this year’s ‘World Water Day’.
Guinness Nigeria’s continued commitment to initiatives that improve access to safe water was underscored at the event by the company’s Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Sesan Sobowale who represented the Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria. Sobowale noted that the company will continue to play a leading role in enhancing access to safe drinking water in Nigeria. He said:
“Under the aegis of the ‘Water of Life’ programme in Nigeria, water facilities have been constructed in 35 communities across the country. We are pleased to note that through these water projects, Guinness Nigeria has helped over 1.5 million Nigerians access clean water and ultimately improve their overall health and wellbeing.”
Also speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Dan Ebri, Director of Water at the Cross River State Ministry of Water Resources, commended Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to initiatives that promote access to safe drinking water in Nigeria.
He said: “I commend Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to interventions that tackle the challenge of water scarcity in rural areas especially in Cross River State. I also thank the company for partnering United Purpose to deliver programmes that have helped Obanliku LGA to achieve ‘open defecation free’ status.
The impact your partnership has made is laudable”. The clan head of Bebi Eastward in Obanliku LGA, His Royal Highness Atung Francis, also expressed the community’s profound appreciation for the donated water facility. He observed that prior to the donation, community members trekked to the hilltop – a distance of about three kilometres-to fetch water.
Guinness Nigeria’s latest intervention in Obanliku LGA comes on the heels of a previous pilot project which facilitated the construction of ten boreholes in rural communities in Cross River State’s Abi, Bekwarra, and Obanliku LGAs.
The pilot project (which was also delivered in partnership with United Purpose) helped over 11,000 people in these LGAs to access safe drinking water, and trained 120 community members on basic borehole maintenance and water resource management.
In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the Country Director of United Purpose, Nigeria, Mr. Tim Connell said he was pleased to see the positive impact the partnership have been able to make in Cross River State.
“Today Obanliku LGA has become the first LGA in Nigeria to achieve ‘open defecation free’ status, and more persons in the local government area now have access to clean drinking water. I would like to thank Guinness Nigeria for its contributions towards these milestones”
It would be recalled that last year, Guinness Nigeria commissioned water facilities which it constructed in Gwam, Bauchi state (in partnership with Water Aid) and Tyowanye, Benue State (in partnership with OXFAM). These water schemes are currently providing safe drinking water for over 20,000 people living in beneficiary communities.