By Elizabeth Achuagu
The International Deputy Chief Executive of WaterAid, Mr. Girish Menon has called on communities benefiting from Wateraid projects to guard facilities provided in their domain against theft.
Mr. Menon who stated this at Imilike -Enu in Udenu Local Government, Enugu State, South East Nigeria during a one -day visit to monitor the usage and management of bore holes and Ventilated Improved Latrines built in four benefiting Local Governments of the state..
He explained that the organization was keen in providing the facilities for the poorest communities but could not realize its set goals if those already provided were being stolen.
According to him, ‘we are keen to see that no child dies of lack of water or that women trek kilometers in search of water but we will not achieve this if the community allow these facilities to be vandalized so we need maximum support and security for its sustainability’
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman, Udenu Water Consumers Committee, Chief Samuel Ozioko told the visiting team that two days after the death of the security guard on, thieves stole the generator which they use in pumping water.
Chief Ozioko recalled that the bore hole was constructed in 2010 at the cost of N16.5million and was being managed effectively in line with the guidelines stipulated by Wateraid.
He appealed to the organization to assist them in the replacement of the stolen generator and assured at maximum security would be provided for the facility.
The Chairman regretted that the LG authority was not paying up its counterpart fund for the sustenance of the project as the fund realized in the sale of water in the past two years were used to effect the repairs of some damaged equipment. The team also visited Igbo Etiti where the WASH Co- coordinator Mr. Fidelis Ikeoha said that 27 communities were benefiting from neither bore hole or Ventilated Improved Latrines as the LG was being used as a pilot area for ‘open defecation free’ programme of Wateraid.
He listed the communities that benefited from VIP latrines to include Onyobor, Diogbe,Ezi-ukehe Umuofiagu and Ochima while Ugwunorda, Umudule and Umuofiagu benefited from bore hole installation.
Mr. Ikeoha listed some of their challenges which include provision of generator, replacement of motor-cycle, and inadequate office accommodation transfer of WASH staff and late remittance of funds.