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FG in fresh collaboration with UNICEF for sustainable water supply in rural areas

By Ameh Ochojila, Abuja 
15 September 2022   |   2:59 am
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is in fresh collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for improvement and sustainability

[FILES] Water flow

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is in fresh collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for improvement and sustainability in water supply among rural communities.

Water Resources Minister, Suleiman Adamu, made this known at a one-day sensitisation workshop on the implementation of the national Village Level Operation and Maintenance (VLOM) strategy in Abuja.

Adamu said the collaboration became imperative to maintain water facilities and improve access to supply in rural areas.

In his keynote address, Adamu, who was represented by Director (Water Quality), Emmanuel Awe, said lack of maintenance and monitoring of water facilities results in frequent breakdown and abandonment of the facilities by affected communities.

The minister said: “The national VLOM strategy is intended to address these challenges by putting facility ownership in the hands of communities; establishing VLOM units as an institutionalised structure within the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) departments in all local councils; establishing and creating communication channels, where benefiting communities can report the status of water facility to those in authority and building the capacity of Local Area Mechanics (LAMs) to achieve 100 per cent functionality, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

He charged the participants drawn from the 36 states and FCT with the need to speedily commence the process of implementing the VLOM strategy in their respective states.

Adamu revealed that the ministry, in collaboration with UNICEF, operationalised the VLOM strategy in three states, since 2019, under the DGIS ASWA 11 projects, in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

He further revealed that this yielded an immeasurable feat in the area of maintenance, which is worthy of replication. 

Earlier, the Director (Water Supply), Danjuma Madaki, said there is a need for stakeholders to critically examine provisions of the strategy, especially roles and responsibilities, and continually engage in discussions that would help in the implementation of the VLOM.

In her presentation on ‘The Sustainability Challenge: Water Facilities, Functionality in Nigeria and VLOM as Remedy,’ the UNICEF Chief of WASH, Dr. Jane Bevan, said the VLOM strategy entails ownership, which will determine the sustainability of the facilities. 

She explained that by 2030, the goal of SDG 6.1 is that everybody will have access to clean water.