HACEY Engages Stakeholders across 3 States on Improving access to Safe Water

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Ugo Aliogo

In fulfillment of its core mission of providing a healthy and safe environment, HACEY Health Initiative with support from Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation launched the Clean Water Initiative project.

The project is aimed at improving access to potable water in rural and underserved communities across Nigeria. So far, the initiative has provided electricity-powered boreholes and training on water, sanitation and hygiene best practices to over 200,000 people in 75 communities across Nigeria and provided over 75 boreholes.

The Executive Director of HACEY, Rhoda Robinson state that the project in 2021 aims to increase the availability of basic WASH information and services in 5 primary health care centers and 5 public schools across Ondo, Imo and Delta State through the installation of electricity powered boreholes, handwashing stations and capacity building sessions on safe water and proper sanitation and hygiene practices (WASH).

Robinson noted that “The Clean water project is set to increase availability and access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene information and services which is aimed at improving the lack of sanitation facilities in the country as World Health Organization(WHO) record reveals that an estimated 100 million Nigerians lack basic sanitation facilities and 63 million do not have access to an improved source of drinking water.”

In a stakeholder meeting organized by HACEY, they discussed project objectives, roles and participation of stakeholders in the implementation and sustainability of the WASH implementation held with project stakeholders across project states.

Welcoming stakeholders to the meeting, Project lead of Clean Water Initiative at HACEY Health Initiative, Chioma Osakwe explained that the project aims to reduce WASH-related diseases in 10 local communities in Delta, Ondo and Imo states by increasing access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene information and service.

Osakwe added that the initiative intends to build the capacities of the health and education workforce in project communities as well as enhance the knowledge of community members on proper water, sanitation and hygiene practices to promote sustained efforts towards achieving project goals and objectives.

Giving the welcome address, the Honorable Commissioner of Health represented by Mrs. Morah Chux-Okoro, Permanent Secretary of Heath stated that poor access to potable water in most communities has had a deleterious effect on to health and productivity of its population; especially for women and girls.

Chux-Okoro also commended the efforts of HACEY and ACT Foundation in improving the WASH situation in Imo State.

Also speaking, Director of Public Health for Imo State, Dr. Okeji Austine, added that there has been an increased incidence of infectious diseases resulting from the poor WASH situation in the state and there couldn’t have been a better time to implement the WASH project.

Austine emphasized the need for strengthened collaborative efforts amongst stakeholders towards ensuring project sustainability, adding that the Clean Water Initiative Project should be a tool for advocacy both on the community level and state level.

The stakeholders meeting facilitated discussions amongst stakeholders such as representatives from the Ministry of Health and Education, community development association as well as health officers and the education workforce in project locations on adopting effective strategies to ensure the successful implementation and sustainability of the project. During the discussions, issues such as security, maintenance and project scale-up were addressed with stakeholders proffering practicable solutions to issues highlighted.

Stakeholders were encouraged to possess a sense of ownership as it relates to the Clean Water Initiative project and other community development projects/activities.