Stories by Omolabake Fasogbon
As part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, beverage giant, Guinness Nigeria Plc has extended its ‘Water of Life’ project to four more states – Edo, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa -and Abuja.
The Water of Life project, which is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)-focused, is meant to enhance hygiene practices in communities in the wake of COVID-19.
According to the company, the project has impacted about 22,000 residents across communities in identified states.
Commenting on the initiative, Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Baker Magunda, stated that the project is designed to reduce people’s risk of exposure to COVID-19 by providing water facility and hygiene education to at least 20,000 residents in selected communities across states.
He said, “Our belief that water is a basic human right significantly comes through in these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, our commitment remains unwavering in ensuring that people in underserved communities continue to have sustainable access to clean and quality water.
“The project specifically targets farming communities within Guinness Nigeria’s value chain. Through the construction and rehabilitation of water schemes in target communities, the project sought to increase access to clean water and create community structures to drive ownership and sustainability while improving lives and livelihoods.
“The intervention also provided the opportunity to educate communities on safe sanitation and hygiene practices towards improving health and wellbeing.”
Magunda added that the company has been able to reach 2,427 persons across five states with its hygiene promotion activities.
He said that there had been proven evidence of communities embracing hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water, while providing a source of livelihood for a growing number of women.
He said, “Currently, the ‘Water of Life’ scheme is providing water to close to two million Nigerians in underserved communities, using solar-powered water systems and that it has reached a milestone of installing 39 of such water schemes across 28 states including the FCT.
“The benefits of access to clean water supply in these communities will reduce the time and costs households expend in accessing alternative water sources and will lead to improved health outcomes, particularly the reduction in waterborne and infectious diseases.”