The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) has donated and commissioned a new water project in Akparabong Community, Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State to avail residents of the community steady access to potable water and boost agricultural produce processing.
The water facility, which includes; a 17,500 water-storage capacity tank, solar panels, a solar submersible pump, water management kiosk, improved sewage management.
Speaking at the commissioning of the project Abimbola Okoya, General Manager, BATNF, who represented Chief Kola Jamodu, Chairman of the Foundation said the donation was hinged on the constructive dialogue with various stakeholders in the community.
He said the gesture was in furtherance of the Foundation’s commitment to improving the quality of lives in rural communities through the provision of potable water.
He said the Akparabong water project donated to the community was the third solar-powered water facility to be donated to communities in the South-South geo-political zone of the country and the first in Cross River State.
“I am confident that with the provision of this water project, the challenge of inadequate supply of safe-drinking water that was confronting residents in Akparabong community and indeed other adjourning communities will become a thing of the past.
“Access to potable water should not be a luxury, especially for smallholder farmers in rural communities who require clean water for both domestic usage and processing of agricultural produce. More importantly, we expect that the income of our farmers will increase with this development as women will have more time for other activities due to reduction in the time spent in search of clean water,” he added.
While charging residents on the sustainability of the water project, Okoya enjoined the residents, through its town council, to take ownership by ensuring that the facility is put to good use in a sustainable manner.
Receiving the water project on behalf of the community, Lawrence Takor, commended the Foundation for supporting the community to engender socio-economic growth through the provision of potable water.
He said the initiative would undoubtedly complement efforts made by the government in enhancing the well-being of people in rural communities.
“We express our sincere appreciation to BATNF for the provision of safe drinking water to over 100,000 members of the agrarian communities. We, therefore, assure the Foundation of periodic monitoring visits to the community, so as to ensure that the facility is fully optimized.”