By Nonso Ega
Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) in partnership with Rotary Club, Abakaliki have provided 30 boreholes to 30 villages in Ebonyi State as well as trained 360 villagers from the communities of Ebonyi State Nigeria on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities carefully designed and aimed at improvement of the public health of the lots of the rural populace.
The WASH project involves careful planning, research, design, and construction of water facilities to meet the needs and demands of rural dwellers.
The WASHCOM training helps the benefiting communities learn and know how to use/operate them, care for/maintain the facilities.
A Copy of the WASHCOM Training Manual is given to each of the Trainee as a guide that would facilitate the step-by-step procedure in the reorientation of community members.
It is also designed to develop skills that would improve the community management of the WASH programs and facilities.
AMURT is a global Non Governmental Organization with its headquarters in Washington DC, United States of America.
The NGO which engages in disaster relief and community development is currently active in 34 countries of the globe.
In West Africa, AMURT has been alive and active in Ghana and Burkina Faso since 1980s with special focus on water projects and maternal health.
AMURT came into Nigeria in 2010 and began operations in Ebonyi State with focus in Primary Healthcare and Maternal & Child health.
According to Dada Daneshananda, the Country Director, AMURT Foundation said, “When coming to Nigeria in 2010, we were faced with the tough decision of where to start operations, and the choice finally fell on Ebonyi State. We have found an excellent environment for our work as we have been received very well, right from the villages to civil society organization, to the LGAs and the State government.
AMURT started work in Ebonyi State in primary healthcare and maternal health. The dire water situation and its direct impact on the health of the communities soon became apparent, as the people reportedly cited water as their development priority.
It is a great privilege for AMURT to work in partnership with Rotary Club, Abakaliki. Through a partnership that always puts the communities at the centre of all activities, we hope to achieve changes that can last and constitute real development.”
“The key to this is the attention given to training and capacity building at the grassroots level. Many boreholes are not functioning in the area as the community was not trained on how to repair and maintain them. Often the local community played no role in the planning and installation.”
“Through the combined experience of AMURT and Rotary Club of Abakaliki, we can execute an effective, economical and sustainable water and sanitation program that will benefit the communities for generations to come. We are looking forward to continue to cultivate these partnerships so that we can bring water, sanitation and improved health to the remote corners of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.”
During the training, the WASHCOM members learnt how the mechanics of the hand-pump works, and the function of the different parts. They also learnt how to use all the tools provided in the toolbox for the maintenance of the borehole and the hand pump.
We thank God that after a long but due process of applying for the boreholes followed by the Needs Assessment, the community sensitization, the geophysical survey, the drilling, the flushing, the casing, the platforming, the WASHCOM training and the installation, finally the water is flowing for everyone in the community.
On behalf of the two benefiting villages of Eguho Ezzagu in Ishielu LGA, Ebonyi State, Mr. Godwin Ezeaka, who attracted the Boreholes, thanked AMURT and Rotary Club, Abakaliki for the provision of two (2) hand pump boreholes at Udoka/Igwebuike and Egwudinagu Villages to increase access to safe water, and improve sanitation and hygiene practices in our community.
According to Mr. Ezeaka, “I thank you for the successful training of 12 members of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCOM) selected from each of the benefiting villages during the community sensitization.
He reiterated the earlier agreement of the villagers to maintain adequate/proper hygiene practice in their area, and also accept to take the responsibility of protecting and maintaining the boreholes drilled for the community.