Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Serah Ochekpe, on Monday, re-stated the determination of her ministry towards raising the standard of women in the country.
Mrs. Ochekpe while speaking in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, on the reason behind the ministry’s project, ‘Girls and Women Initiative in Nigeria’, said it was aimed at building capacities of rural women and girls in Nigeria to become leaders in water management.
According to her, “The G-WIN project aims to create employment and income to alleviate poverty through the provision of water schemes, water kiosks, and public sanitation facilities to build the ability of women and girls in the rural areas to effectively and confidently own and manage these facilities.”
She disclosed that the training component of the programme is being implemented by two resource organisations: African Themes Limited and Women environmental Programme.
The minster further disclosed that four states have been selected for the pilot project, which are Abia, Bauchi, Osun and Plateau states.
“In each state, two local government areas have been selected as follows: Abia – Osisioma and Ugwunangbo LGAs; Bauchi – Kirfi and Zaki LGAs; Osun – Iwo and Ori-Ade LGAs; and Plateau – Jos South and Jos North LGAs.
“The project aims to provide water and sanitation facilities in public places in the selected local governments to be managed by the women and girls.
“It is based on the above that this capacity building workshop on Community-led Total Sanitation, Leadership and Conflict Resolution, Water Scheme Operation and Maintenance and Water Kiosk Management and Entrepreneurship has been organised to equip the participants with the required skills to sustainably manage water and sanitation facilities for financial independence and improved health,” Ochekpe further stated.
However, speaking at the Enugu International Airport, the Managing Director of African Themes (lead consultants), Mrs Annabelle Adeyemi-Johnson, commended the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for always looking for ways to empower women.
While expressing her appreciation for her firm being selected to partner the ministry on the project, Adeyemi-Johnson commended the minister for her special role in getting the girls and women programme up and running.
She described the project as “another bold step by the ministry to make life better for Nigerians as part of the transformation agenda of the federal government.
She added, “When women are given this kind of quality empowerment, through which they can generate wealth, the impact will no doubt be visible on the larger society, because once you train a woman, you have trained a nation. So, we commend this administration for embarking on this milestone project through the Ministry of Water Resources.