As part of its commitment to ensure availability of safe water and food security in Nigeria, the TY Danjuma Foundation (TYDF), has announced an initial commitment of $250,000 to the Safe Water for Africa Initiative for 2012 and 2013.

The commitment is in partnership with The Coca Cola system, Diageo, Water Health International (WHI) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

At the inauguration of the Initiative in Lagos, Executive Director/CEO TY Danjuma Foundation, Ms. Thelma Ekiyor, expressed the desire of the TYDF to support the course in every possible way.

“The Safe Water for Africa Project (SWA) affords TYDF an opportunity to deepen support for interventions aimed at providing safe drinking water and enhancing the overall well being of end beneficiaries,” Ekiyor said.

SWA is a unique private sector collaboration that has raised more than $2.5 million to provide sustainable access to safe drinking water in Nigeria, and an additional $2.3 million in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone under Phase 1 of the programme.

The SWA partnership will work with communities to drive the expansion of WHI’s unique and self-sustaining clean water service delivery model across the region.

TY Danjuma Foundation, Coca-Cola, Diageo-Guinness Nigeria, NBC and WHI will fund the construction of about 50 Water Health Centres (WHCs) across Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria to deliver sustainable safe water access for communities, while new country programmes were expected in 2012 and beyond.

Building on this core investment, SWA plans to raise a total of US$20 million to fulfil its ambition of providing safe water to at least 2 million Africans by the end of 2013 and 5 million by 2015.

Further expatiating on TYDF’s involvement with SWA, Ekiyor explained that “SWA is aligned with the water and wellbeing strategy of TYDF’s Community Health Programme.

To this end, we have committed an initial $250,000.00 to SWA.

We believe it is important that we build synergies not just between the public and private sectors but also with the emerging private philanthropic sector of Nigeria in mitigating the challenge of providing safe drinking water to communities.

In her address, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, said “Current statistics of our water coverage in Nigeria are not very pleasing as only 58 per cent of the population have access to safe drinking water.”

The concept of Water Health Centres being introduced by the Safe Water for Africa Partnership was heart warming because of its focus on treatment and dispensing of WHO-certified quality water at an affordable price to users…We are equally excited to note the readiness of the TY Danjuma Foundation to join this initiative.”

Meanwhile, the TY Danjuma foundation said it was presently working with communities where access to portable water has been challenging and endangering the lives of inhabitants particularly children.

“It is our long held believe that access to clean and portable water is essential. We have identified some communities through proposals from stakeholders, non-governmental and other civil society groups. For our Community Health Programme, we have considered and approved some of these proposals while others are still being submitted. Our target is to ensure our intervention programmes contribute to good health for all, particularly our younger ones so they will not be exposed to communicable diseases that could claim their lives at a very early stage,” Ekiyor affirmed.

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