Addax Deputy General Manager, Jessica Lena Abega, drinks from newly inaugurated water tap at Ndongo, Buea
Over 6,000 people in Ndongo 1 and 2 neighbourhoods in Buea have had their potable water problem resolved, thanks to three, double-head water taps Addax Petroleum recently constructed and inaugurated at the community.
The taps were officially opened to the public on Tuesday, May 16, by the Deputy General Manager of Addax Petroleum, Jessica Lengha Abega, who was accompanied by the Assistant Divisional Officer for Buea, Enanga Violet Ajang.
The community outreach project was part of Addax Petroleum’s corporate social responsibility policy, which cuts across four domains: health, education, community livelihood and the environment.
“This project falls in line with our corporate social responsibility, which is livelihood of the community and we say water is life and we came to give life to the people of Lower Bokoko and its environs,” Addax Deputy Director General said.
“Because we have also understood that they were having this problem of water and the outbreak of cholera that came out in this part of country in the Southwest, that hit a lot of people in the Southwest because of lack of potable water. So since the project was in line with our corporate social responsibility and is one of those projects that privilege the life of people, we came to their aid,” she added.
Ndongo Community Hails Addax Petroleum
Before the Addax-sponsored water project, Ndongo neighbourhood, like many others in Buea, had been going through an acute water crisis. Residents told said their children had to travel long distances every day to fetch potable water. But now water is at their door steps.
The Head of Bokoko Quarter 4, Biaka, veteran journalist Martin Nkemngu, who spearheaded the water project, said it was an extension of a 2017 water scheme that Addax sponsored at Biaka, which is also supplying the University of Buea.
He said about 20,000 people will now be benefitting from the water scheme after the newly-inaugurated one, which will benefit over 6,000 people.
“This project, we forwarded to Addax Petroleum, who, in 2017, helped us in the realisation of the first phase of the project. So they found it convincing and they accepted to sponsor the project in collaboration with the local population. Because the local population helped by their labour, they contributed in one way or the other to bring the project to fruition,” he said.
Dozens of Ndongo Quarter 1 and 2 residents who gathered to witness the inauguration beamed with joy when they saw water oozing from one of the double-head stand taps. Among them was Benedicta Nkemka, an elderly woman who lives at Ndongo Quarter 1.
“Today is a very exciting day because of this water. We have suffered a lot here at Ndongo because of water issues. We used to go at time for three to four days without water. We struggled from one public tap to another but water is hard to come by. We are very thankful for this water because we know our suffering is over,” she told The Post.
Nkwainguh Johnson, a leading member of the Ndongo Quarter 2 Council, said they did not hesitate to offer their help when Addax agreed to sponsor the project. He was one of those who helped in building the taps.
“We facilitated the building of the taps. It will help us a lot. Our children used to suffer a lot, crossing to other neighbourhoods like Limbe Quarter to fetch water. But now this will stop them from going that far. It will be possible for everyone to have water his/her house because this is potable water,” he said.
Assistant DO Says Taps Will Help Prevent Cholera
The Assistant Divisional Officer for Buea, Enanga Violet Ajang, who cut the inauguration ribbon alongside Addax Deputy DG, said the water taps were coming to resolve, not just water crisis, but also to prevent water-borne diseases like Cholera, which Buea suffered last year.
She also lauded the project as proof of buoyant relations between the government and multi-national companies like Addax Petroleum. She taxed the beneficiary community to properly manage the water provided them, and treat it as a public good.
The Assistant DO also donated FCFA 50,000 to support the quarter water committee which will be maintaining the public taps.