Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo, is partnering WaterAid, Oxfam and Concern Universal on new Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes for 2016 in advancing a collaborative corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiativethat promotesrural sanitation and hygiene via access to safe water.
The partners made their intentions known in Lagos at a media briefing on Monday, February 8, 2016,during which they affirmed their commitment to building relationships that stretch beyond the commercial bottomline to the engagement of communities to make positive impact on their lives.
During the event, Mr Peter Ndegwa, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, stated: ”At Guinness Nigeria Plc, we have a real commitment to providing safe water to Nigerian communities and have provided over 25 potable water facilities to communities across Nigeria under our Water of Life programme. The partnerships we are speaking of today are testament to that commitment. The NGOs we are working with have a proven track record for delivering highly impactful water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in Nigeria, and other countries of the world. Their work has saved millions of lives, and created a brighter future for many. We are therefore confident that their expertise will help us improve the viability of our water and sanitation interventions, as well as the impact on beneficiaries. Furthermore, it is our hope that our partnership with these NGOs inspires other stakeholders to join in our mission to help more Nigerians have access to clean water and improved hygiene.”
Under terms of the partnership, Guinness Nigeria will provide funding that will enable the three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) deliver WASH programmes in three states across the country.On one hand, the Guinness-Concern Universal will deliver the WASH programmein Cross River state; while the Guinness-OXFAM collaboration will apply in Benue state, and the Guinness-WaterAIDprogramme in Bauchi State. Through these partnerships, Guinness Nigeria will help to provide water to over 35,800 Nigerians.Each of these programmescomprise water facilities (bore holes and other ancillary facilities, while toilets will also be constructed for the WaterAid and Oxfam programmes).
Concern Universal’s Country Director, Tim Connell, said the 2nd Phase II of the ‘Safe Water and Improved Sanitation and Hygiene’ (SWISH) programmewill provide year-round access to safe drinking water for 15 rural communities in three local government areas in Cross River State,while continuing to promote better sanitation and hygiene behaviour. He emphasized that supplying water to open defecation free (ODF) communities will have a direct positive impact on their health status. “As a result, SWISH II will seek to close the gap for Nigeria in fulfilling its national targets and to attaining the new sustainable global goals,” he stated.
On his part, Programme Officer, Integrated Water Resource Management, OXFAM Nigeria, Mr. Eyong Sunday stated that the organization will use funding from Guinness Nigeria to set up a new self-sustaining water project in Tyowanye community in Buruku LGA of Benue State. The project willcomprise of a deep motorized (solar powered) borehole and a VIP toilet. It is expectedto benefit a minimum of 1,500 households, totaling about 10,500 people. The project will be run by a management committee most of whom are women selected entrepreneurs from existing organised village savings and loans associations groups in the area. “The management committee together with employed youth will be empowered with knowledge and skills to manage the water project, including skills and training on entrepreneurship, basic maintenance operations, sanitation and hygiene as well as record keeping and tracking of revenues from proceeds of the project. Apart from the initial set up including service and maintenance contract, the management committee will be in-charge of the day to day management and running of the project on a sustainable basis, using proceeds from the center,” Eyongsaid.
Wateraid will deliver a WASH programme in Gwam, a community in Ningi LGA of Bauchi state. The project will entail the construction of two new water schemes complete with water kiosks, latrines for both males and females in one school as well as train artisans on operations and maintenance of WASH facilities, according to Dr.Michael Ojo, the NGO’s Country representative.
Guinness Nigeria was established in 1960 and has a long history of social interventions including the Guinness Eye Clinic and scholarship schemes. These partnerships form part of Guinness Nigeria’s corporate social responsibility philosophy which stands on three legs: the business, community and environment. The three are strategically interwoven to achieve and sustain positive social development in the communities where it operates.