Water is a precious commodity that is essential to life. Access to clean and safe water is a basic human right, yet many communities around the world still lack this fundamental resource. International Water Day is a day set aside to raise awareness about the importance of water and the need for sustainable management of water resources.
Pandagric Novum Limited (PNL), a feed manufacturing and farming company situated in Nasarawa State, Nigeria, is one of the many companies which recognize the importance of water and the value that improved access can bring to local communities.
PNL leases lands from six local communities, some of whom had no access to potable water before the PNL investment. Women in these villages had to walk a long distance to fetch water from the river; a source which is often unreliable and unsafe. PNL, as part of its corporate social responsibility programme, has embarked on a project to improve access to water for the communities. Following community consultations, boreholes have been drilled for each of the host communities as well as a migrant community close to the farm. PNL has a maintenance plan in place to ensure that the boreholes are regularly checked and maintained, and water quality is tested annually to ensure that the water remains clean and safe. The boreholes have been drilled to a depth which allows sufficient volume for conversion to electric pumps for irrigation purposes when budget becomes available in the future.
PNL’s impact on water quality has also been supplemented by the installation of custom-designed, hygienic toilet facilities at communities, schools and the clinic. Prior to this, many community members were forced to use the bush which negatively impacted surface water sources and human health.
The impact of this programme has been significant. The women in the communities have shared their testimonies on how the boreholes have helped, especially those who live close to them. It saves them time that they can spend on farming and taking care of their families. The disease burden of cholera and typhoid has been reduced. They hope that more boreholes will be drilled so that the women who still have to walk long distances can have access to clean and safe water in the near future.
We as Signature Agri Investments are committed to promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting the communities in which we operate. In Nigeria, we are co-invested with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) who are active and insightful in the deployment of community development programmes. PNL's programme is a testament to our shared company values and commitment to improving the lives of communities in need. By providing access to clean and safe water, PNL is not only improving the health and well-being of the villagers but also contributing to the sustainable development of the region. Signature Agri Investments is proud to work with NSIA and support PNL in this project.
As we celebrate International Water Day, let us remember that water is essential to health, agriculture, economic success and life itself, and recommit to working together to ensure that it is accessible to everyone, especially those in underserved communities.