The Church and WaterAid’s life-changing water projects in Nigeria

New boreholes, toilet facilities and hygiene education help thousands of people in the African nation

Ongoing efforts from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and WaterAid — a nonprofit organization focusing on water, sanitation and hygiene projects — mean thousands of people in Enugu state, Nigeria, are getting access to clean water.

New boreholes — deep holes drilled in the earth to access water — have been or are being installed in several communities in several phases.

This means women and girls won’t have to spend hours fetching water every day and can focus on attending school. Families can wash their hands with soap and water to stay healthy. And nurses and midwives can care for their patients, explained a social media post from the Church’s Caring account.

A WaterAid report said that one in every five people in Nigeria don’t have clean water, and 50% of the people don’t have a decent toilet. This makes them more likely to be ill or even die due to poor water and sanitation.

In August 2023, WaterAid worked with the Church to give a 20,000-liter, generator-powered borehole to the Ukwuinyi community. The new water facility has two kiosks that provide access to clean water for over 2,000 people.

A new water borehole in Ukwuinyi community, Enugu State, Nigeria.
A new borehole in Ukwuinyi community, Enugu State, Nigeria, in August 2023, provided by WaterAid with support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. | WaterAid

The organization and the Church also worked in Umuogili-Amufie on a facility with a 40,000-liter general powered motorized borehole with two kiosks providing access to over 2,500 persons.

In November 2023, the African Examiner reported on the launch of the third phase of the “Strengthening Water and Sanitation Delivery” project in Nigeria with a goal to reach an additional 5,500 people with improved access to clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene behavior.

WaterAid Nigeria country director Evelyn Mere spoke about how along with the new boreholes, local water committees and consumer associations were established and trained to make sure the water facilities were effectively operated and maintained by the residents for years to come.

Mere also said that WaterAid has built toilet and sanitation facilities and promoted educational campaigns to make sure people understand effective handwashing.

Guests and community members at the handover ceremony for a new borehole at Ukwuinyi community, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Guests and community members attend the handover ceremony for a new borehole in Ukwuinyi community, Enugu State, Nigeria, in August 2023. WaterAid and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are working together in Nigeria to provide clean water access. | WaterAid

In March 2024, through the support of the Church, WaterAid laid the foundation stone for a 10,000-liter motorized borehole in Mboshi Aji community and commissioned the building of new toilets specifically for women in the community market space.

WaterAid and the Church have also worked together in Lagos state on these same goals.

“WaterAid believes that sustained transformational change can be achieved through expanded access to water, sanitation and hygiene,” Mere said. “This will enable people to lead healthier lives and fulfill their potential.”

Safe water is a priority for the Church, through partnerships with nonprofit organizations and missionary humanitarian work taking place around the world.

Previous projects from the Church and WaterAid include new water taps and bathrooms in Papua New Guinea and Liberia and rebuilt facilities after storms in Malawi and Mozambique. In Colombia, drinking water arrived in La Guajira and sacred art helped the Wayuu people improve hygiene practices. A new solar-powered water supply was built in Uganda for three villages, and 10 new wells helped the country of Eswatini in southern Africa.

Leaders from Enugu State cut the ribbon at a new borehole and water kiosk in the Ukwuinyi community of Nigeria.
Leaders from Enugu State cut the ribbon at a new borehole and water kiosk in the Ukwuinyi community of Nigeria in August 2023. | WaterAid
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