As we near another year's conclusion, I am ecstatic that PFW and our work in Nigeria, West Africa, continue to thrive even while 2023 has been challenging in Nigerian society. These challenges include but aren't limited to record inflation resulting in increased economic hardship, federal election controversy resulting in widespread protests, and continued tribal and religious conflicts, several of which have resulted in loss of life.
Despite these challenges, especially the increased cost per project because of rising inflation, we were able to fund, construct, and commission six new water projects in 2023, bringing our total projects completed since 2018 to 39; 38 of these projects actively produce potable water, resulting in nearly 30,000 people accessing clean water daily.
When I consider that 30,000 people who previously had no access to usable water now do because of the generous support of our partners and the hard work of our construction team in Nigeria, I am overwhelmed with various emotions.
These include but aren't limited to amazement, gratitude, and anticipation of what is to come; however, accomplishment is the most prominent emotion I feel when I think about what has been realized. I do not feel accomplished personally but rather as a collective that includes all our partners across the spectrum (including those who fund our projects, those who build our projects, and those served by our projects.
This year's challenges have reminded me of the importance of enduring and overcoming. I recently undertook a word study on the Latin word Superare, which means the will to overcome. It is a belief, a knowing, that no matter what happens, we have the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental capability to overcome it. This principle embodies the spirit of our team in Nigeria, who refuse to quit or even be compromised by challenges that would have caused many to throw in the towel.
2024 and Beyond
For the reasons asserted in the preceding, our 2023 new project totals regressed from the previous three years; however, our level of impact exceeded expectations. In addition to continued societal challenges that must be contended with, existing borehole sustainability is a critical factor we must now maintain. Although we did not complete as many new projects as in previous years, we undertook more maintenance activity than ever before.
When we began, 100% of our focus was dedicated to developing new water projects; we must now share that focus by ensuring the boreholes we have constructed continue to provide sustenance. Over half the boreholes constructed in Nigeria are estimated to be broken or abandoned; this is an outcome we are committed to avoiding. For 2024 and beyond, we will continue heightening our focus on supervision, maintenance, and effective governance while developing new projects.
Until Next Time