Eziama Water Project 2020
About Eziama Idodo Community
Eziama Idodo Community is a border community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, which shares the same boundary with Ebonyi State. The community is made up of 12 villages and has an estimated a population of over 2500 people mostly women, children and the elderly. The community, according to the King and community members, have suffered several years of neglect from Enugu State Government largely due to its geographical location.
Why Eziama Idodo?
The only public source of water supply for the community is the Idodo River. The community has never had a borehole (private or public) constructed for them before, either by government or private organizations. Only very few privileged households have private open wells which is not accessible to the other members of the community. The Idodo River serves as the communities’ source of water for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing. The visiting team led by Dr. Daniel Ugwu, witnessed firsthand, community members bathing and washing their clothes in the same river from where drinking water is sourced. Some members of the community walk several miles to get to the river, these are mostly women and children with severe difficulties this poses for them. The elderly mostly women, who cannot embark on the long journey to fetch water from the river have to pay young men with motor bike to fetch water from the river for them. The fare ranges from 50-100 naira per 20 liters of water, which is outrageous considering the level of poverty in the community. The same water used for drinking without any treatment is where the villagers ferment their cassava (used for fufu production) for up to seven days and also sieve the “fufu” inside the river, all of which flows downstream where others fetch for the purpose of drinking and cooking.
In the midst of the public health risk and challenge posed by drinking and using such highly polluted water, the only health facility in the community was not functional, as at the time of our preliminary visit to the community. The community members interviewed especially women who bear a large chunk of the brunt lamented and cried out for help. They travel several miles just to get a gallon of water for their families. They are of the opinion that it is only God who has being protecting them considering the highly polluted and dirty nature of the water they use for drinking and cooking.
Dr. Daniel Ugwu who brought the plights of the community to the attention of Hope Spring Water, had this to say;
“Interventions from your organization to the plight of this community will be considered an act of miracle by the community. I was almost moved to tears as I found it difficult to believe the things I saw and how a people are able to survive under such very terrible condition.”
Interviewing the Nurse at the only Community Health Centre, she reiterated that about 7 out of 10 cases she handles daily, are typhoid cases. She further emphasized that the situation gets worse in January, at which point many children fall ill with diarrhea disease.
A hand pump borehole was selected after assessment of the community for the most suitable type of borehole to be donated. This was buttressed by the lack of stable power supply in the community. In conjunction with the community leaders and driller, a strategic site, which borders the only community health centre, primary school and secondary school, was identified for citing of the borehole. The viability of the site was further confirmed through a geo-physical survey, which showed optimum water table at a depth of 60m.
The drillers were faced with the huge challenges posed by the swampy road that leads to the community. The drilling machine, which could not initially access the community was replaced to ensure the project was successfully executed. The drilling lasted for three days, after successful mobilization to site.
Figure 1: Geophysical Survey at Eziama Idodo Community
Figure 2: Construction and installation of 5′ HPVC Handpump Borehole at Eziama Idodo Community
Project Impact and Launch
The project was launched on 5th of August 2020. The women leader, the Kings Cabinet,
Youth Leader, the President General, the King and other community members, were in attendance during the launch. The secretary of the women group, Mrs. Comfort Ebu, was full of joy and thanked Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation for bringing back life to them and their children. She emphasized that the borehole would save them the stress of taking long trips to the Idodo River to fetch water. The King, HRH, Igwe J. Ngene, in his vote of thanks acknowledged that this is the first ever borehole to be constructed in their community and was full of praises to Hope Spring Water. He further reaffirmed that he will ensure the borehole is properly maintained to serve its purpose.
Figure 3: Commissioning of Eziama Idodo Community Borehole, Enugu State
Hope Spring Water set up a WASH committee (WASHCOM) headed by the Youth Leader, who is also the Personal Assistant to the “Igwe”, Mr. Sunday, while the “Igwe” plays an oversight function, to ensure project sustainability and community ownership. The committee will oversee the effective functioning and maintenance of the borehole.
Figure 4: Setting up of WASH Committee at Eziama Idodo Community, Enugu State