By Stanley Onyekwere
In furtherance of effort towards the improvement of food security, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in collaboration with Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited donated water projects to four FCT rural communities.
The benefiting communities are Wassa 2, Sherreti, Karimajiji and Malaysia Garden, all located in the Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Territory.
Speaking at the commissioning and handing-over ceremony at Sherreti community, FCT Minister of State, Dr, Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, noted that A
FAO, as an agency of the United Nations has contributed to international efforts to defeat hunger and improve local economies by helping its member countries improve agriculture, forestry, and fisheries practices.
The minister, who was represented at the occasion by her Senior Special Assistant in charge of Administration, Prof. Muhammad Usman, opined that the completion of the water projects in these communities will no doubt help to improve food security, hygiene and sanitation, for an estimated 4,000 persons, both among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and their host communities.
“Among other things, the beneficiaries are expected to use the water to irrigate small vegetable gardens to enhance their nutrition, their incomes, and their livelihoods generally.
“The boreholes are also solar-powered and equipped with plugs that residents can use to charge their cell phones. More importantly, they are well lit at night and therefore safe to access at all times while also being aggregation points within the communities,” she noted.
The minister therefore appealed to members of the benefiting communities to jealously guard these facilities against vandals and ensure that they own the projects
Aliyu used the occasion to express the Administration’s appreciation to development partners for contributing to the improvement and development of water schemes in the Federal Capital Territory, stressing that these are no small contributions to government’s efforts at addressing developmental challenges, especially Mr. President’s focused push to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in a decade.
According to her, “We are on the verge of finalising a Strategic Implementation Plan for achieving the Federal Government of Nigeria’s 2019 – 2023 Deliverables for the FCT and shall be calling on you soon to join hands with us to raise the tempo of development, especially in the social services sector, as we commence plan implementation.”
In his remarks, the Nigeria representative of FAO, Mr. Suffyan Koroma, said the use of water for domestic and agriculture needs of households is one sure way to reach the zero hunger goal, as food and nutrition security is enhanced.
Koroma expressed optimism that the project will mitigate the water challenges of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDs), and the host communities, noting that the organisation has continued to provide support to development initiatives and strategies aimed at reducing poverty, improving food and nutrition as well as the efficient management of the country’s natural resources.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited, Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo, said the company has a long history of cooperation and friendship with the Nigerian people, adding that these initiatives are in agreement with the company’s social investment and corporate social responsibility agenda targeted at providing support for Nigeria and her citizens.