The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it has constructed 338 boreholes in various communities in Shendam and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau to enhance access to safe drinking water.
Mr George Bekinbo, UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene consultant, who made the disclosure, also said 40 Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines were constructed in some primary schools in the two local governments.
The official told journalists on Monday in Jos shortly after inspecting some of the facilities provided under the EU-supported Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme III.
According to Bekinbo, the facilities are aimed at enhancing child survival and development through sustainable access to water sanitation and hygiene services.
Bekinbo said the facilities were provided under the first and second phase of the programme while the third face would commence by May.
“This project being implemented by the UNICEF supported by the EU is basically to enhance child survival and development through sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in communities.
“It is being implemented in Adamawa, Ekiti and Plateau states, and here on the Plateau we are working in various communities of Shendam and Riyom local councils.
“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with Plateau Government to provide hand pump boreholes in 601 communities.
“And so far, we have for the first and second phase, constructed 338 boreholes and 40 VIP latrines in the two localities.
“The remaining ones are captured in the third phase of the project which will commence by first week of May,” he said.
He explained that 74 local area mechanics were trained to ensure proper maintenance and repairs of the boreholes and encouraged the opening of spare parts shops in the two localities for easy access to damaged parts of the boreholes. Bekinbo also said each community has a management committee for the facilities.
`The communities have key roles to play in sustaining the facilities provided to them and so the onus of maintenance rests on them. “This is why we have Water Sanitation and Hygiene Committees in each of the communities that take charge of the maintenance of the facilities,” he added.
The consultant urged the Plateau Government to hasten the release of its counterpart fund contribution to the programme to enable the project spread to other localities.