Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo, has entered into strategic partnership with WaterAid with the ultimate goal of ensuring sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene, while helping people take action to improve their health and well-being.
The partnership has the Guinness Nigeria ‘Water of Life’ programme and WaterAid Nigeria working with the Kebbi State Government through the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (Kebbi RUWASSA), alongside the technical support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in implementing a sustainable water project to contribute to building thriving communities in Kebbi State. The project is aimed at providing inclusive access to clean water to an estimated 2,500 people in D’kwa village, Danko/Wasugu LGA, Kebbi State and strengthening the capacity of thecommunity management structures to support sustained operations of the water facility model.
The water facility is expected to alleviate the water challenges faced by D’kwa community – which is largely a farming community where many households rely on unsafe shallow wells and other unimproved surface sources for their supply of drinking water. During the dry season from November to January, residents usually have to walk for 2 – 3kms to get water from a stream. This scarcity disproportionately affects women and girls, putting them at greater physical risk, as many households rely on them to go fetch water from these distances in areas that are also prone to sand storms.
Speaking on the project, Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc., Mrs. Viola Graham-Douglas said “the Guinness Nigeria ‘Water of Life’ programme is aimed at providing access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene in order to reduce poverty, promote better health, wellbeing, gender equality and empower women and girls. We’re working with key partners to shine a light on these issues and find lasting solutions, one community at a time.”
“This project is also expected to support local development as the financial model to manage the water point will also help small businesses to thrive and make local financing fund pool available to support larger community development initiatives. This supports Guinness Nigeria’s focus on supporting local livelihoods and prosperous rural economies,” She added.
On the whole, access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services has remained low in Nigeria. According to the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme, about 60 million people out of a population of nearly 190 million still lack access to clean water while only 33% have access to basic sanitation – meaning approximately 120 million people in Nigeria do not have access to toilet facilities.
Dr. ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, said “water, sanitation and hygiene remains one of the most neglected issues in our country today. At WaterAid, our work is all about transforming lives by improving access to these life-saving services for the poorest and most marginalised in our society.