Lack of access to modern portable water is one of the challenges faced by poor Nigerians today. Over the years, government and non-government entities in Nigeria have worked with little success to reduce the population proportion without access to safe clean water.
The most recent data shows that over 60 million Nigerians do not have access to safe and clean water, suggesting a slight improvement from the end of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. At the end of the MDGs, Nigeria reported that 67 per cent of the country’s roughly 186 million people had access to safe and clean drinking water, leaving approximately 61.4 million unserved.
Since 2015, there has been slow progress, but the entrance of His Royal Majesty Adayeye Enitan Ojaja II into this space could see a lot more people accessing safe drinking water.
His Royal Majesty Enitan, the ruler of Ife in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria through his Hope Alive Initiative (HAI), inaugurated a project code-named “Free Water for All.” The project is intended to provide safe drinking water for people living in the rural and urban areas of Nigeria.
Besides his royal status, the Ooni of Ife, who will be 48 on October 17, 2022, is a successful real estate mogul and the Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His net worth is estimated at about $70 million (US), making him the 4th richest traditional ruler in Nigeria.
With this success, the traditional sovereign has now decided to try his hand at delivering safe clean water for all Nigerians that need it. Information from the Ooni’s palace shows that since 2021, nine different communities have benefited from his initiative, with each project costing him Naira 1.4 million (USD3,374).
The Hope Alive Initiative has already commissioned the water project for Nigerians in the Pakuro community in Owode-Ofada Local Government of Ogun State and Iwaya in Yaba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
Timescape Magazine also reports that the oldest and first market in Yorubaland, Oja Ife, benefited from the water project on May 15, 2022, when the HAI was joined by some chiefs of Ile-Ife to commission a modern water source for the use of the market men and women as well as other visiting members of the public.
“It was indeed an unsolicited surprising gift to the market from the Ooni of Ife,” some of the market women told Timescape Magazine during the commissioning.
Timescape Magazine understands that apart from the water project for the Oja Ife market, the Ooni of Ife, through the HAI, has also brought electricity supply to the market.
Princess Adesegun Temitope, the Deputy Chief Convener of Hopes Alive Initiative who supervises and coordinates the project on behalf of the traditional ruler said two markets in Lagos and Ogun states have benefited from the Free Water for All project.
According to her, the “Hope Alive Initiative is an advocacy program designed to alleviate socio-economic, cultural and environmental challenges in a bid to reduce the impact of poverty among the most vulnerable in the society while creating equal opportunities for all.”
The Princess emphasized that “while generating a positive return to the society, Hopes Alive Initiative aims to reach a large number of people regardless of geographical limits to eradicate the perils of suffering in today’s reality.”