World Water Day: Improving access to clean water, one community at a time

World Water Day: Improving access to clean water, one community at a time

As the world celebrates World Water Day, the Social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria, MTN Foundation, reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that communities in Nigeria have access to clean water. 

World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, focuses on the importance of freshwater. The day is set aside to celebrate water and raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

According to the latest Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report, 771 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water, and the water crisis is the 5th global risk in terms of impact on society. 144 million people depend on surface water, like a river, to meet their basic needs, and millions of people take multiple trips each day to collect water. Based on reports from UNICEF in 2021, 26.5 million Nigerian children, or 29 per cent of Nigerian children experience high or extremely high water vulnerability, with over 86 per cent of Nigerians lacking access to a safely managed drinking water source.

MTN Foundation has continued to make giant strides in ensuring that communities across Nigeria have access to clean water. Through its What Can We Do Together project, a community based “give-back” initiative, MTN Foundation has successfully rolled out various interventions in 510 communities under 454 LGAs in Nigeria since 2015. Over the past seven years, MTN Foundation has ensured the availability of potable water in 50 communities. 

After the installation of a 650ft borehole in Damaturu Local Government Area under the What Can We Do Together initiative, one of the residents in the community mentioned that prior to the donation, residents of that community had never had access to potable water. 

He said, “We have never had access to potable water and we feel this more with the presence of a community school with a population of about 3,975 students. These students during the break period move from one compound to another requesting for water to drink from people who have sunk private boreholes.”

“Thank God for MTN Foundation. Today, with this borehole, we can now fetch and drink water without begging.” No organization has carried out a project of this magnitude in this community.” He concluded.

Recently, the MTN Foundation successfully installed solar-powered boreholes in Dawanu Janguru Community, Dawaki Tofa Local Government Area, Kano state and Gudugi community, Pategi Local Government area, Kwara state to improve their access to clean drinking water. 

Speaking on the Foundation’s contributions in this space, Odunayo Sanya, the Executive Secretary of the MTN Foundation, said “MTN is a company that believes that its success as a business is tied to the wellbeing of the people in the communities in which they operate. Connectivity for us is beyond the services we offer, but for people to live with basic standards of life and have access to the basic things of life. This is why we have tailored our interventions to align with national priorities and the SDGs.”

MTN Foundation is the social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria. The Foundation was founded in 2004 and commissioned in May 2005 with MTN Nigeria Communication PLC committing up to 1% of its Profit after Tax (PAT) as its main source of funding for projects. MTN Foundation has invested over NGN 23.7 Billion in the 36 states of the federation and FCT.

MTN Foundation has over 924 project sites across Nigeria with 48 unique projects which spans 2,604 communities and reached over 30,741,005 people.

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