Abuja: Italy's state-run energy giant Eni and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have signed an agreement to foster access to safe, clean water for domestic use and irrigation in crisis-hit northeast Nigeria.
Under the project which was signed on Tuesday, Eni will drill boreholes and provide photovoltaic power systems, including training for their use and maintenance for long-term stability, the FAO said.
The FAO will provide support by identifying the areas to sink the wells as well as technical expertise in the region covered by the project.
The FAO's assistance in the region "has helped Internally Displaced Persons in camps and those returning to liberated communities, including host communities, to return to their farms and pick up the bits and pieces of their lives again," said the organization's country representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma.
The Eni-FAO project aims to give further humanitarian assistance to people who have fled their homes in the region and host communities amid "unprecedented levels of population displacements" and prolonged disruption of agriculture, livestock rearing and fishing, the organization said.
The Eni-FAO project is part of Eni's sustainability effort in Nigeria which includes agricultural development, access to energy, health, training and environmental protection initiatives.
The joint project comes after Nigeria's government asked oil and gas companies to help it alleviate the suffering of victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
The FAO has operated Nigeria since 1978 and has programmes and projects in more than 30 states across the Federation.