The people of Popoyemeja, a community of the palace of Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji in Ibadan South-East local Government Area of Oyo State on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 heave a sigh of relief as the
British American Tobacco Foundation donated a borehole for use by members of the community.
According to the communication officer of the foundation, Mr. Tajudeen Akinwade, the community before now has been suffering from lack of water while the available ones are not save for drinking and which has resulted to water borne diseases among members of the community.
Akinwade said it was against this backdrop that the company’s foundation deemed it fit to provide the borehole, the facility which was built in front of the palace to ease the burden of potable water supply in the area.
He added that the company’s intervention is borne out of its resolution to focus on implementing projects that aims to reduce poverty and enable communities to enjoy an improved standard of living. He said the projects includes potable water supply, environmental protection, vocational skills acquisition and agricultural development.
So far according to him, no fewer than 92 boreholes have been installed to help reduce scarcity of water and the incidence of water-borne diseases.
Also speaking, the General Manager of the company’s foundation, Mrs. Lolade Johnson said the donated borehole is the 5th in Oyo State and 66th in Nigeria which have gulped a sum of N227.5 Million to ensure that communities in rural Nigeria have access to clean and potable water.
According to her, “the facility which was handed over to the community is the third water borehole in Ibadan, fifth in Oyo State and sixty-sixth in Nigeria. Part of the facility includes a 6,000 litre capacity storage tank, a submersible pump, a generating set, six units of water dispensing taps and reticulation pipes to the water storage tanks and the water dispensing units”.
She added that the borehole being handed over will solve many of the problems associated with limited supply of potable clean water in the community while she said the palace will be managing to ensure good use pending the company provide the second borehole as substitute to the commissioned facility.
She said the foundation’s gesture is to meet the need of members in the community and to honour the request of the Monarch that the community needs potable water to prevent them from walking long distance before they get water which is not even clean and safe for drinking.
She said: “The project is not for the Monarch as it may be believed in some quarters but for people of Popoyemeja who we had are suffering from lack of access to potable water and which has resulted to all kinds of water borne diseases in the community.
“The King’s major role was that, he provided us with suitable location for the installation of the borehole, a singular project that costed us about N3.5M. But we need to understand that
British American Tobacco has earmarked about N1billion to provide clean water throughout the federation and to encourage rural farmers to go into commercial farming”, she stated.
Earlier speaking on behalf of the Monarch at the handing over ceremony of the borehole at the palace, the Agbakin Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi in his welcome address commended the initiative of the company for following the international legacy of Corporate Social responsibility.
According to him, the company has made a landmark achievements in taking care of needs of the society through provision of jobs and social amenities especially at areas they make money as top priority.
“Before now, we had perennial water challenge in this community and were very pleased to get a quick response from the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation, when we requested their support.
“The borehole that is commissioned today is one out of two that the company promised the community. We are waiting for you to provide the second borehole as soon as possible. And it is commendable to say that British American Tobacco have survived industrial action through its friendliness to workers and regularly payment of tax to government to enhance enviable development. We therefore thank the management of the company and implore them to do more”, he urged.
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