Saliu and Zhang Baoping ABUJA (Xinhua) -- Fetching
water freely from a public tap constructed adjacent to her house
on Monday, Rita Okoye who lives in Kwali, a rural community
situated near Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, has felt much
relieved compared to her searching all-day for water to complete
her daily chores in the past.
Pregnant with her sixth child, Okoye,
in her second trimester, had lived together with her family for
seven years in that community amid the shortage of potable
The community, with a population of
85,837, used to have a public water supply scheme which was
constructed 30 years ago and had undergone several
rehabilitations since establishment.
The public water scheme was last
rehabilitated in 2012, and it had been abandoned since then.
According to Okoye, for five years
since 2012, most residents of Kwali depended on mobile water
vendors who sold untreated water to them in jerrycans.
“We spent so much money, at least
36,000 naira (approximately 100 U.S. dollars) a year buying
untreated water from those vendors,” the expectant mother
told Xinhua in an interview.
On Monday, aid came to the local
residents when the Chinese firm, CGC Nigeria Limited handed over
an improved water source to the community.
The Chinese company, at a ceremony
held to hand over the improved water source to the community,
said its aim was to fulfill its corporate social responsibility
goals to the people of Kwali.
Ye Shuijin, the managing director of
the Chinese firm in Nigeria, said in fulfilling its social
responsibility goal to the community, the company has installed
a solar-powered system to replace the standby generator being
used to operate the waterworks, thereby reducing the operational
cost and the frequency of the electricity generator maintenance.
It also rehabilitated and upgraded a
140-cubic meter ground surface tank, a 190-cubic meter elevated
tank, two separate 100-cubic meter overhead tanks and two
boreholes. It also provided and constructed four new boreholes
and carried out water reticulation with the construction of 11
tap islands, to mention a few.
From this improved water source, the
supply cuts across the entire town, running through the schools,
markets, offices, and homes of the local people.
At least 3,000 people can have access
to potable water from 29 fetching points every day due to the
Chinese firm’s efforts, Ye noted.
Many of the local residents who
trooped out to welcome their Chinese guests and local officials
to the handing over ceremony were full of praises to the Chinese
firm, particularly for solving a major perennial problem of the
Onna Anselm, a trader who has lived in
the community for 13 years, said the improved water supply gift
by the Chinese firm came at the right time.
“We’re already in the dry season when
water is usually very scarce here. But at this time, the
problem has been solved because people can now walk to the
fetching points to get potable water from the taps,” Anselm
After rehabilitation by the company,
the water supply scheme has been developed to compose of about
4,400-meter length of a new pipeline.
“This will greatly improve the
standard of living of the people, as indeed, water is life,”
the local resident added.
While launching the waterworks for
use, minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed
Bello urged the people of the community to take good care and
ownership of the project to avoid damage of the water supply
Hailing the Chinese firm as a very
important stakeholder in the Federal Capital Territory,
Bello said that the firm has decided to support local people
through the rehabilitation of the waterworks. “And for us,
we are immensely grateful to the company and also to the
entire group in China for this laudable project,” Bello