Zhiyinda Project 2020
About Zhiyinda Community
Why Zhiyinda Community?
The displaced people in Zhiyinda IDP camp that settled in the community since 2014 are still integrating with indigenes of the Zhiyinda community. However, a visit to the camp reveals the struggles faced by the people, especially in gaining access to portable water. Considering the relatively high cost of the few private boreholes in the community, most people in the camp, rely on the river within the community as their major source of portable water supply, which they use for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing.
Charlie Christenseen, the Founder of Walking for Water, brought the plights of this IDP camp to our attention and a preliminary visit to the community showed that for every 25 litres water container the IDPs pay NGN30, which is outrageous considering the level of poverty in the community.
In the midst of the public health risk and challenge posed by drinking and using such highly polluted water from the river, the IDP camp, which is an informal settlement has no health care facility and the only school present in the camp is a block of three classrooms without any source of potable water supply and toilet facilities. When the students or teachers are pressed during school hours, they go to the nearby bush, despite the presence of snakes in the bush. On the other hand, students go to school with water fetched from home or nearby stream, as there is no source of water supply in the school.
Interviewing the Chairman of the IDP camp, he reiterated that access to clean water and safe toilet facilities is a major challenge faced by the people in the camp. He emphasized that the IDPs cannot afford the cost of the potable water being sold by private borehole owners in the community, and that leaves them with no choice than to rely on the water from the river.
Figure 1: Children fetchin water from the river at Zhiyinda Community, Abuja
On assessment of the IDP camp for the most suitable and sustainable type of water supply intervention to be carried out in the camp, a solar-powered borehole, fitted with 8,000 litres of water tank, was selected. The choice of a solar-powered pump was buttressed by the lack of power supply in the community. In order to ensure sustainability of the project, a mobile-phone charging kiosk was integrated into the water supply scheme to be donated to the community. The revenue from the charging kiosk will be used for maintenance of the water facility. A 14-man Water Committee (WASHCOM), selected by the community, was formed to take charge of the management of the water supply facility and charging kiosk, so as to enhance effective functionality of the facility, long after we are gone.
In conjunction with the community and IDP camp leaders, a strategic site, which borders the only primary 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 80m.
The drillers were faced with the huge challenges posed by the swampy road that leads to the community. The project lasted for two weeks, from mobilization to completion.
The project was executed through effective collaboration with partners, with Barutren 360 Facility Solutions, as the lead sponsor. Other partners involved in the project include Walking for Water and LoveSpring
Figure 2: Construction and installation of Solar-powered borehole fitted with 8,000 litres overhead tank at Zhiyinda Community
Project Impact and Launch
The project was launched on 16th of September 2020. The entire community were filled with excitement on the launch of the water facility. Women and children were singing and dancing on siting the water run from the tap, while showering praises to the donors. The women leader, in her speech, commended Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation and partners for this intervention. She stated that they were initially indifferent about the authenticity of the planned project, considering their experience with some proposed donors who have promised to execute similar project but after taking pictures and videos of their suffering will go and never return. According to her, one of them who returned, only succeeded in drilling a hole in the ground, without any visible signs of water. Filled with excitement, she thanked Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation for renewing their belief in humanity. She emphasized that the borehole would save them the stress of taking long trips to the Idodo River to fetch water. The IDP Chairman in his speech stated that this is the first of its kind in the entire community. He further reaffirmed that he and the WASHCOM established will ensure the water facility is properly maintained to serve its purpose.
Figure 3: Commissioning of Zhiyinda Community Borehole, Abuja
Hope Spring Water set up a WASH committee (WASHCOM). The committee will oversee the effective functioning and maintenance of the borehole and mobile-phone charging kiosk.
Figure 4: Setting up of WASH Committee at Zhiyinda Community, Abuja