The Watershed Protection for Sustainable Water Supply project of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has enlisted 52,000 households to be empowered with clean sources of water for domestic consumption around the Yankari Game Reserve in Alkaleri local government area of Bauchi State.
The multimillion-dollar Watershed project also called ‘waterfall’ is a five years development project being implemented by Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with Partners for Development, and Nigeria National Park Service in Bauchi and Cross River States accordingly.
The Programme Manager of Wildlife Conservation Society, Nura Yusuf Ahmed disclosed this in Bauchi during a workshop organised for relevant stakeholders for the implementation of the project in communities harbouring the famous Yankari Game Reserve in Alkaleri LGA of the state.
He said the project will also complement security arrangements for the forest communities to tackle issues of kidnapping which appeared in Alkaleri previously.
Mr Ahmed said rangers providing security to the Yankari Game Reserve will be supported with training, working tools and other incentives to make them better equipped to discharge their responsibilities properly.
Speaking, WSC Country Director who also doubled as Chief of Party USAI WaterFall project, Mr Andrew Dunn said in the course of the implementation of the project, 75 water facilities will be constructed and renovated in the targeted communities to ease access to clean water difficulty and reduce the spread of waterborne diseases which posed great danger to the lives of the people.
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“Declining water quality has become a global issue of concern. Nature-based solutions, such as improved watershed protection and management, have the potential to offer lasting, cost-effective improvements with multiple benefits for water resources, climate change adaptation, communities and ecosystems.
“The savanna woodlands of Bauchi state form part of the Upper-Benue watershed, one of the major hydrological watersheds in Nigeria. By combining protected area management, livelihood interventions, community engagement and support, civil engineering and science, the WaterFall will take an interdisciplinary approach to improve WASH implementation and human well-being,” he explained.
On his part, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Alkaleri local government, Comrade Bala Mahmood said the initiative is a right step in the right direction, adding that will deepen the provision of water to communities in the area.
Some of the participants interviewed commended Wildlife Conservation Society, implementing partners and USAID for the laudable stride to impact their communities and life, arguing that water is the basic necessity of life that ought to be of the highest quality.