Eni - through its Nigerian subsidiary, Agip Energy and Natural Resources (AENR), and its partner Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) - in collaboration with the united Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) commissioned a model solar powered borehole for the Waru community in Abuja.
Waru is one of many communities in Nigeria significantly impacted by the insurgency in the North eastern region of the country. It is a crisis that has resulted in a high level of internal displacement, forcing many to seek refuge, not in formal camps, but in existing communities. Waru is one of such communities which, in line with Nigerian traditional norms of hospitality, has opened its doors to others. The Waru borehole will, therefore, provide safe and clean water to this community of an estimated 4,000 people, including internally displaced persons fleeing the insurgency in North East Nigeria.
While commissioning the borehole, Lorenzo Fiorillo, the Managing Director of AENR, said: “This project is the outcome of our fruitful cooperation with Nigerian authorities and FAO, and leverages on our technical skills to improve the living conditions of the Waru community, allowing access to clean water. It is based on our belief that private companies can and should cooperate with the public sector to play an active role in sustainable development.”
The borehole is solar-powered with a photovoltaic system. It is also equipped with a reverse-osmosis plant to treat the water, ensuring that it is potable. During the project implementation, the local authorities were involved to provide support in training and sensitizing the IDPs and the host community on water management practices for long-term sustainability.
The Waru borehole is the first of 10 boreholes provided in the first year of collaboration with FAO within the framework of the “Access to Water” Initiative, designed to promote access to water in selected communities in the country, pursuant to a collaborative agreement signed between the two organizations in February 2018. The collaboration aims to contribute to humanitarian interventions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities impacted by the crisis in North eastern Nigeria.
At the commissioning of the Waru borehole, the FAO Country Representative in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Suffyan Koroma, said: “the plan is to ensure that displaced persons and host communities have access to safe and adequate water for use in the households and for agriculture. This collaborative effort is geared towards guaranteeing sustainable food and nutrition security to the beneficiary community.”
The FAO has had an official representation in Nigeria since 1978, though its activities in the country date back to the 1950s. The organization, working with relevant ministries at the national and sub-national levels, has provided support to national development programmes and to strategies aimed at reducing poverty, improving food and nutrition security, and natural resources management.
The Waru borehole project is an example of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) envisaged by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as an essential tool for driving the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local level. The Waru project is geared specifically towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - 1 (No Poverty); 2 (Zero Hunger); 6 (Clean water and Sanitation); 13 (Climate Action); and 17 (Public-Private Partnerships for the Goals).
Eni has been present in Nigeria since 1962 with both onshore and offshore activities. This project is part of Eni’s sustainability efforts in Nigeria, which include activities relating to agricultural development, access to energy, health, training, environmental protection, as well as specific initiatives for stakeholder engagement in local communities and promotion of transparency.