ENVIRONMENT

Eni Partners FAO, NNPC To Provide Solar-powered Water Schemes In North-East Nigeria

Eni and the FAO together for clean water in Nigeria. Photo: Eni

By Gift Eguavoen

Eni, through its Nigerian subsidiaries Nigerian Agip Exploration (NAE) and Agip Energy & Natural Resources (AENR) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have commissioned 11 water schemes in Borno and Yobe States, North-East Nigeria.

The integrated water schemes – comprised of boreholes, solar power systems, treatment facilities and fetching points – provide water for domestic consumption and irrigation purposes.

They were constructed under the framework of the “Access to Water” initiative implemented by FAO and Eni, in collaboration with Eni’s partner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). This public-private partnership leverages the skills and know-how of the public and private sectors to improve access to water for the communities affected by the humanitarian crisis in the North East.

The FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Fred Kafeero, while stressing on the importance of the 11 facilities as they were handed over to the authorities of Borno and Yobe States said: “The solar boreholes and FAO’s larger investment in irrigation and water management is a signal of our commitment to support the government of Nigeria achieve its development goals. In the northeast, the availability of safe drinking water and water for agriculture is central to growth and livelihood recovery.”

Alberto Piatti, Eni’s Head of Sustainable Development, said: “The handover of the water schemes is a cornerstone in the collaboration with FAO in the region that is contributing to improve the life of the communities. With the completion of the project, thousands of people will have access to clean water, which is a concrete step to enhance the overall living conditions of the inhabitants, providing them a safe source also for other uses, such as agriculture, to boost concrete social development”.

The water wells, powered with photovoltaic systems, were completed between 2018 and 2020 in various communities located in selected Local Government Areas of Borno (Chibok, Biu, Damboa, Gwoza LGAs) and Yobe (Machina, Fune, Gujba, Geidam, Bade, Potiskum and Fika LGAs). The official commissioning and handover of the water schemes could not be held until now due to the volatile situation of the area.

Since 2018, Eni and FAO have implemented a total of 22 water well projects under the framework of this Access to Water initiative: 5 in Abuja Federal Capital Territory and 17 in North-East Nigeria, notably in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. Overall, the initiative has contributed to improve sanitation and restore the livelihoods of about 67,000 people, including internally displaced people and their host communities, Eni said in a statement on Wednesday.

Extractive360 reports that the “Access to Water” initiative is implemented in the framework of the Collaboration Agreement between FAO and Eni in Nigeria, geared towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG1 – No Poverty; SDG2 – Zero Hunger; SDG6 – Clean water and Sanitation; SDG13 – Climate Action, and SDG17 – Partnerships for the Goals.

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