Mr Khalifa Al-Mehrezi, the Deputy Ambassador of the United Arab Emirate (UAE), says the embassy is building boreholes in selected schools and rural communities across five states in Nigeria.
Al-Mehrezi said UAE is providing 40,000 dollars for the intervention to address the water supply challenges in the benefitting states.
He made this known at the inauguration of a borehole project sponsored by one of UAE’s charity organisations, called Sharjah Charity International, at the L.E.A Primary School Dutse Baupma, Bwari Area Council of FCT Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project wss executed in collaboration with AWACIO, an NGO in Nigeria.
He said that the Community Development and Outreach Programme was very important to the embassy, saying the project was informed by lack of access to clean and potable water in some rural communities in the country.
“This is something that is very important to the embassy, and this particular project was as a result of lack of access to clean and portable water which is a problem in a lot of areas not only Abuja, but in Nigeria as a whole.
“So we wanted to do something that will benefit the community and people that are in need of clean water, then we decided to do this borehole project and this is one of the locations we are doing in Abuja.
“We are building another borehole in a primary school on airport road in Abuja, and we are also going to building borehole projects in five states across Nigeria; namely Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Osun and FCT.
“We are really trying to make sure we provide water for people all over the country that are in need of potable clean water, so this project is very good not just for the schools and the students, but for the communities to also benefit as well.
“And in these states we are not just doing the project for the schools but also in the communities and poor areas in the villages that will benefit well over 20,000 people.
“So the project is a 40,000 dollars project that will be executed in different areas and states, and we hope that having clean and potable water would be one less thing that people will have to worry about,’’ he said.
He added that the community Development and Outreach Project began in February 2020 and has no life span because it would be a long lasting project.
He also said that the Dutse Baupma project was implemented in three months which would also have follow up, and evaluation and maintenance.
Mrs Cludia Okeke, the CEO of AWACIO Charity Organisation, said that the need to engage in the project was due to lack of potable water in some communities in the country.
According to her, most rural areas do not have potable water and water is life, and with what is going on with COVID-19 we need a lot of water.
“The school did not have water so we said if we provide for them we will provide water for the community to help them with their day-to-day activities at home.
“We’ve done a few schools, not too many so far, and we have been in existence for nine years.
“We are trying to see how many schools we can help, and there are some schools that have boreholes but they are not functioning, we will also want to help to make them work properly.
“They have not seen the last of us, we are going to continue to monitor the project, we will be coming from time to time to make sure that the water is running and they are using the borehole to do essential things for the school,” she said.
Responding, the Chief of Dutse Baupma, Mr Haruna Gyandawe, expressed gratitude to the donors and pledged to guard the facility against vandalism.
“We want to appreciate the Embassy of the UAE and AWACIO for this donation of borehole; before now our children have been going to the stream to get water to drink which is not healthy for them.
“We have benefitted from groups like this in the past, and we have individuals who come to develop one area or the other like our fence which was built by A Y M Shafa Filling station.
“So we are also using this medium to called on the Federal Government to come to our aid; the school is too small for our children, the pupils sit on the floor to learn due to congestion, lack of chairs and tables,’’ the traditional ruler said.