Children in Uke, Karu, Nigeria wait to collect water from the new UN-Habitat facility funded by SIDA
The project is part of UN-Habitat Regional Office for Africa’s COVID-19 Response and Resilient Recovery strategy, in partnership with Tulsi Chanrai Foundation and the Karu council.
At a ceremony to hand-over of the facilities, the state governor, Abdullahi Sule, represented by the Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport Chief Phillip Dada, pledged the administration’s commitment to build on the project to expand the provision of urban basic services and guarantee a healthier life for residents.
The Chairman of Karu council, Samuel Akala Gajere, urged communities to take ownership of the project and ensure that the facilities are well taken care of. He commended the implementing partners for the quality of the work and pledged closer collaboration with UN-Habitat.
The Speaker and officials of the council, traditional rulers and community leaders, WASH Committee (WASHCOM) members, school children and representatives of various community groups also attended the ceremony.
Karu is a densely populated area in Nasarawa State. A substantial proportion of the population commutes each day into Abuja, which has the second highest rate of COVID-19 infections in the country.
Some 100,000 residents will be served by boreholes with solar pumps in the six communities, namely Masaka, Ado, Uke, Keffin Sanu, Kugbaru and Koso with a network of hand washing and water fetching points to three locations from each borehole.
WASHCOMS were established in each participating community and members were trained in the basic management to ensure equitable usage. To guarantee effective maintenance of the facilities, two local mechanics were trained and provided with tool kits, while a community trader was supplied with spare parts to guarantee an adequate supply of replacement parts.
The project also included teaching on hygiene practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable dieases at three community schools. Safety kits were procured for 287 waste collectors, with 100 of them distributed after an orientation session before the formal handing over ceremony.x