Water for Ngwongwo Community

Water for Ngwongwo Community

Organizational background

Hope Spring Water is a non-governmental organization that helps poor and vulnerable communities in Nigeria, to access water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) facilities through drilling of boreholes, open wells, and training rural community members on rainwater harvesting technology, as well as sanitation and menstrual hygiene education in schools.

We have positively impacted over 20,000 people across various regions in Nigeria, since commencement of operation in Nigeria in 2017. Our projects are targeted at those in dire need of humanitarian assistance and we leverage on our partnership with the local communities and stakeholders to ensure our projects are sustainable.

Introduction

In April 2018, the Federal Government of Nigeria declared a State of Emergency in the Nigeria WaSH sector
More than 60 million Nigerians lack access to safe and clean drinking water in their respective homes and communities. More often, children and women often bear the burden of walking long distances to fetch water, most of which are unfit to drink.

Recent statistics by UN are so alarming; positing that 60% of child mortality stems from an ailment closely tied to water-related diseases, which is more than deaths from AIDS and malaria combined. Also, rape cases, physical abuse and other forms of human exploitation of children, particularly young girls, are recorded in many local communities across Africa.

  • Over 340,000 children under the age of 5 years die annually due to diseases caused byunsafe water, inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
  • 263 million people spent over 30 minutes per round trip to collect water from an improved water source (figures by the UN for 2017).
  • Some spending up to 6 hours every day collecting water.
  • 159 million people only had access to surface water, ie water coming directly from a river, dam, pond, stream etc.

Ngwongwo Community borehole project, Ishiagu, Ebonyi State

Ngwongwo community is located in a water scarce region, located in Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, South-East Nigeria. The community is notable for its rich mineral resources, which has hightened mining activities in the community. Despite the community’s endowment with rich mineral resources, the community is perennially faced with water poverty, which has exacerbated poverty amongst its community members and residents. Their main source of water is the river, which is most times polluted by mining activities ongoing in the community,.

 

A Highly populated community with about 5,000 inhabitants, the community is in dire need of clean water to curb outbreak of water-related diseases which is common in the community, mainly as a result of drinking contaminated water.

Preliminary Survey and Needs Assessment

Our preliminary visit to the community confirmed the plights of this blessed but impoverished community. Enroute the site of the river to assess the water need of the community, almost every household, was seen to have empty gallons and water containers stationed, in anticipation of rainwater, to ease the stress of the daily journey to the river to fetch water.

On arrival at the site of the river, the team witnessed first hand, the ordeals of the community members. Men, women, children, including the elderly, were seen struggling to make the best use of the only water source available to them in the community. Due to utilization of the river to meet the multiple water needs of its users, and prevent incessant abuse witnessed by the joint utilization of the river for all gender, the river was divided into male and female section. The female section had women and girls bathing, washing and fetching drinking water from same source whilst the male section also had men and boys doing same in their own segment.

So as to avoid the daily visit to the river, most families visit the river during weekends, and ensure they get all the water they will need for the week, including doing their laundries and washing the leaves they need for preparing local soup and meal.

The team interviewed a young girl who was seen carrying gallon of water from the river to a larger water container, stationed in a stand-by truck. She confirmed that accessing water is a major challenge in the community. She further confirmed that, just like other families, she was there with her siblings to fetch water and do their laundries.

The survey team observed that most families adopt a particular strategy at the river site, to get water. One person takes charge of fetching the water from the river, after which he or she hands over the filled container to another person who takes the water-filled container to another family member stationed in a nearby truck, containing a much larger water containers (mainly drums). This sequence continues until the drums of water in the truck, is filled. The truck is then used to transport the drums of water to the respective homes. These trucks are usually rented by families. Therefore, apart from the dissipated energy and time involved in accessing water, most families also spend the little income they have, in paying for trucks that will transport the water from the river to their respective homes. Not to forget that this same river is highly polluted from mining activities that go on in the community and other domestic activities (such as bathing and washing) carried out in the river.

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The community will set up a committee, comprising the Youth Leader, Women Leader and selected traditional leaders that will oversee the effective functioning and maintenance of the borehole.

Call to Action

After this sad and ugly experience at the preliminary visit, Hope Spring Water has committed to bring smiles on the faces of the community members and alleviate the sufferings women and children face, to get water, by installing a borehole at a strategic location within the community.

A hand pump was preferred over motorized borehole due to incessant power challenges experienced in the community. The power demand for motorized borehole and the unreliability of power supply within the community, would negatively impact the effective functionality of the borehole, upon completion. Hence, a hand pump borehole, which does not rely on electricity is most preferred and will be installed for the community.

The greatest gift we can give to this community is a reliable and readily available clean source of water. However, we cannot do this without your support. This is the time to act! Together, let’s do this.

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263 million people spent over 30 minutes per round trip to collect water from an improved water source (figures by the UN for 2017).
Some spending up to 6 hours every day collecting water.
159 million people only had access to surface water, ie water coming directly from a river, dam, pond, stream etc.