FOXBORO — Adeola Olafikun never takes clean water for granted.
The four-year town resident and member of Foxboro Rotary Club is from Nigeria, and recalls one of her students in the village in Ogun State dying at age 7 after consuming dirty water.
And she recalls herself getting very sick from it, but she was able to get treatment in the city while others in the village were not so lucky.
“There have been so many children in the community (who have died) mainly because of consuming dirty water,” Olafikun said.
“Illnesses such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and the likes of waterborne diseases are the monsters taking the children’s lives,” she said.
But now, Olafikun has been able to do something about it, with help from the Rotary Club.
Partnering with the Rotary Club of Abeokuta Metropolitan in Nigeria, they installed a new water station in the Tagini Village in Ogun State. The project cost $5,500.
“It’s a borehole water system that pumps out 3,000 liters of water from a source about 150 feet into the ground,” she said. “The villagers get the water pumped daily in about two hours for a community of about 3,000 people.”
Previously, villagers — women and girls mostly — had to walk about six miles to get a small amount of dirty water, Olafikun said.
“This hinders the women from doing productive activities and also the children from going to school,” she said.
Now that clean water is in place for the villagers, Olafikun says she sees “the happiness in their eyes from the pictures, and I can vividly imagine the joy and happiness this brings to there lives.
“No more waterborne sickness and disease of any kind. The children can go to school to become better people. And the women can do productive things with their lives and live a dignified life.”
Lew Gordon, a Foxboro Rotarian and retired engineer at Schneider Electric, was a big help in the project, which he said provides a “complete water delivery system, including a well, the diesel engine ... piping, storage tank, and public watering station that provides water for drinking, cooking, and other public uses.”
Adenuga Olayinka, incoming president of the Rotary Club of Abeokuta Metropolitan in Nigeria, said the water station is about 37 miles from the club’s headquarters.
“This particular water project will improve the quality of life for families in the beneficiary community,” he said. “It will reduce the daily burden of water collection that usually falls on women and children and as such increases their outputs in order area farming activities.
“The incidence of water-related disease will decline. Local farmers will be able to increase crop production because they will be healthy and nutrition levels will improve,” he said.
Dayo Niyi-Idowu, immediate past president of the club, was at the site last Saturday and met with the village leader and a few villagers.
“They are so excited about the project, for the fact that the village lacked good water, and now Rotary is helping in providing a well-structured water project is so exciting,” he said.
“I spoke with a local evangelist on the phone who is also an influential community leader, and he prayed and thank the club profusely.”
“The locals are of course very delighted, as they were thanking us every minute,” said Niyi-Idowu, who added that no outsider has ever given the village anything comparable before.