Polska pomoc


Safe Water and Improved Sanitation and Hygiene

Despite having abundant natural resources, Nigeria is 151st on the list of 177 countries of the United Nations′ Development Index (The HDI index of 2016). Less than 50% of Nigerians have access to safe drinking water. Despite correct sanitary practices, the use of contaminated water increases the mortality of children and infants. The water and sanitary infrastructures are not only needed at homes, but also in schools. Continuously, many students, especially girls during puberty, resign from classes, because there are no taps with water or toilets, which would made it easier to maintain hygiene at school. Ensuring access to basic utilities fall within the competencies of the local authorities. Despite that, the communities the project is addressed to have no safe access to drinking water. The reason for this is an incomplete water and sanitary infrastructure. Defecation in random places is prevalent in the area covered by the project. Contamination produced in this manner finds its way to the sources of drinking water and food. This situation is the result of the lack of support of local authorities, faulty construction and low-quality sanitary systems, the lack of training for the local community in terms of  infrastructure preservation and hygiene maintenance.

The project is implemented in cooperation with two carefully selected schools and the local community of the rural commune of Bekwarra, located in the administrative area of Abuochiche (LGA), in the Cross River state in south-east Nigeria. The commune constitutes an agricultural area, where 69% of the population is involved in farming and related craft. Poverty is common in the region and affects every third household, whose income does not exceed EUR 22 a month (less than EUR 1 a day). The criterion for selecting the location is a level of safe water supply and an appropriate sanitary infrastructure, which is the lowest in the Cross River in Nigeria: only 30% of the population has access to safe drinking water.

The beneficiaries of the project will be the users of the sanitary systems: about 450 pupils and the local population residing in the area covered by the project (about 1,656 residents). Twelve people will be trained in correct sanitary and hygiene practices and the proper support and maintenance of the sanitary systems will be provided under the project.

Safe Water and Improved Sanitation and Hygiene

The project is scheduled to last from 1 August to 31 December 2016 and be implemented thanks to the cooperation between the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Abuja and its local partner, Concern Universal Nigeria. Concern Universal Nigeria is a branch of an international non-governmental organization with its seat in Great Britain. The organisation operates in 13 countries all over the world, e.g. Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria or Senegal. The organisation supports practical activities aimed at improving the living conditions of their beneficiaries and helping them shape their own future.

The objective of the project is to provide school-aged children with proper sanitary and hygiene conditions and access to safe drinking water in schools, simultaneously creating a safe environment where they can receive education and support the local community support. The plans also include the construction of a well, toilets and personal hygiene facilities, which will give them access to a safe drinking water source, sanitary and hygiene equipment in the two schools located in the rural commune of Bekwarra, in the Cross River state. It will make it possible to minimise the number of times that girls during puberty skip classes due to menstruation. Teams responsible for maintaining the equipment and promoting hygiene will be trained in the communities where the project is being implemented. The objective of the project is also the approval of the area covered by the project as the area free from open defecation (Open Defecation Free – ODF).

Facilitating access to water and sanitary equipment is an integral part of the sectoral policy of the Federal government of Nigeria. The project is connected with a strategy for promoting hygiene in rural areas implemented by the Nigerian government in cooperation with Concern Universal (the RUSHPIN project).

For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: EUR 1 = PLN 4.1749.

Safe Water and Improved Sanitation and Hygiene

The project was implemented from 5 November to 16 December, 2016. The project involved constructing and putting into use two wells with drinking water and separate restrooms for men and women. The women’s restroom was equipped with changing rooms with tap water installed so that the residents would have access to drinking water and sanitary equipment, which was a starting point for minimising the number of diseases contracted due to having dirty hands or drinking contaminated water. An incinerator was installed at the back of the changing rooms. The community of the rural commune of Bekwarra was instructed on how to draw water from the well and handle the installation. The team formed for the purpose of the project conducted a training in day-to-day maintenance, cyclical servicing and making small repairs to the well installation. Also, a Healthy Environment Club was created, bringing together students and teachers who received training in hygiene, which raised awareness in terms of hygiene among the local communities.

The beneficiaries of the project are those who use the well and sanitary equipment (about 1,500-2,000 residents of the village of Bekwarra), 450 pupils and 12 people trained in handling the pump.

The area covered by the project was deemed free from open defecation (Open Defecation Free, ODF).

The entire value of the project amounted to EUR 50,973.37, where EUR 28,609.56 was covered by the Polish Aid.