N/East Stakeholders Seek Increased Investment In Water Infrastructure – News Today November 11, 2022 – NNN NEWS NIGERIA

Experts in the environment sector have urged governments and other stakeholders in the North-East, to increase investment in water infrastructure to ensure adequate provision of water for the people.
The experts including environmentalists, engineers and government officials, said such investiment would help to address water-related challenges.
They made the call while responding to a survey on water supply systems by the News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi, Damaturu, Dutse, Gombe, Maiduguri and Yola.
According to them, water is critical to human existence because no one can survive without it.
Mr Nuhu Solomon, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) expert in Damaturu, streesd the need for more investment in water infrastructure to enhance water supply services in the state.
He said there was an urgent need for upgrade and regular maintenance of water plants that no longer provide sufficient water to consumers due to growing population.
The expert said skilled professionals are also needed to effectively manage water treatment plants, adding effective data system must be put in place for planning and management of the plants .
Solomon identified poor data as one of the obstacles militating against quality water supply at the grassroots.
“It is important to know the number of boreholes we have in Damaturu, and the quantity of daily water supply.
“People are being tariffed and how much money you have made from them.
“Whether the source is ground water or surface water like dams, there must be cost recovery if the supply is to be sustained,” he said.
The expert advised governments to regulate indiscriminate drilling of boreholes to mitigate depletion of ground water.
“Sometimes the ground water is being contaminated and unhygienic.
“People need to know the source of their water, how it is transported and ensure that the water is not in contact with contaminant,” he said.
Corroborating Solomon; some residents of Dutse, Jigawa, said practical measures were imperative to ensure adequate and steady water supply to the people.
Malam Abdulkadir Muhammad, a resident of Godiya Miyetti area of Dutse, said they relied on unwholesome water from vendors popularly called ” Yangaruwa”.
He said the residents have been experiencing water scarcity, a trend which forced them to patronise water vendors in spite of impurities and exorbitant prices.
“A 25 litre keg of water is being sold at N50 as against its old price of N30,” he said.
Also, Malam Hassan Umar, a resident of Takur Site, decried the acute water scarcity in spite of available boreholes in the area.
He said the existing handpumps could not meet the high demand of water due to the growing population in the area.
However, Abba Suraj, a resident of Kazaure town in Kazaure Local Government Area of the state, commended the Federal Government over the execution of small water scheme project in the area.
He said the project is designed with 10 million litres daily supply capacity, adding that the gesture enhanced access to portable water in the area.
Similarly, the Bauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), said it has provided 470 hand pumps in rural communities across the 20 local government areas of the state in the past two years.
Mr Mohammmed Babagana, Mobilisation Officer of the agency, said the government in collaboration with development partners initiated viable projects to enhance access to safe drinking water in major towns and rural dwellings across the state.
“The state government in collaboration with British Department for International Development (DFID), and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are implementing Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) project in 12 LGAs.
“About 60 hand pumps and 150 toilets had been provided in health facilities and schools under the project across the state,” he said.
According to him, environmental workers are being trained to fast track implementation and sustainability of water and sanitation services at the grassroots.
He said the state government had developed a comprehensive action plan to improve water supply in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
In the same vein; the RUWASA said it had drilled 329 boreholes, rehabilitated 130 handpumps and 30 solar powered boreholes across the 11 LGAs of Gombe State.
Mr Sa’ad Yuguda, Sector Lead, WASH project of the Agency, disclosed that additional 84 handpumps and 17 solar motorised boreholes had been procured for installation in communities across the state.
He explained that the project is being implemented in collaboration between the state and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
The project, he said, focussed at addressing challenges in communities prone to water scarcity.
He listed some of the benefitting communities to include Balanga, Funakye, Kwami, Dukku, among others.
“The African Development Bank (AfDB) is also providing support for rehabilitation and procurement of 84 handpumps and 17 boreholes in the state.
‘’The intervention spread across communities, public facilities and other strategic places, we look at the gap as and plan to cover everywhere,’’ he said.
Moreso; Hassan Kaigama, the Adamawa Commissioner for Water Resources, said the government had embarked on the upgrade of water schemes in eight LGAs of the state.
He said that six of the projects had reached about 95 per cent completion, and listed the communities to include Gombi, Song, Michika, Uba, Maiha and Madigali.
He disclosed that four other water treatment plants in Jimeta, Yola and Numan were functional while that of Mubi was being upgraded.
Kaigama announced plans to establish additional water schemes in collaboration with the USAID and European Union (EU) across the state.
According to him, the projects are part of comprehensive programme aimed at enhancing access to portable water in rural communities across the state.
He further identified vandalism as major bane towards achieving sustainable water supply, and urged the communities to take ownership of the facilities and protect it.
In Borno, Mr Umar Sadiq, Communications Officer, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said the organisation, in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Water Resources planned to build a mega water production and distribution facility in the state.
He said the project is designed to upgrade production and reticulation systems to enhance water supply to Maiduguri metropolis.
The project, he said, would provide additional nine million litres of water in addition to the five million litres sourced from 10 boreholes in the area.
“It is envisaged that about 150,000 people will benefit from the project,” he said, adding the organisation had earlier rehabilitated 44 water facilities to ensure steady supply to 93,619 persons displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.
He said the projects were in Maiduguri, Rann, Monguno, Damboa and Dikwa.
For his part, the Borno Commissioner for Water Resources, Tijjani Alkali-Goni said the government had rehabilitated 305 boreholes across the 27 LGAs of the state.
He said some 16,000 litres of fuel were being supplied on weekly basis to water schemes to facilitate uninterrupted supply to Maiduguri metropolis.
NewsSourceCredit: NAN
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AdamawaBauchiBauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA)Boko HaramBornoBritish Department for International Development (DFID)DamaturuDutseEuropean Union (EU)Federal GovernmentGombeICRCJigawaLGAMaiduguriMohammmed BabaganaNANNigeriaNuhu SolomonRUWASASHAWNSustainable Development Goal (SDG)Umar SadiqUNICEFUSAIDWASHYola

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