In this report, ABU NMODU x- rays efforts by the Niger state government to put an end to the problem of Water supply in all the three senatorial districts of the state.
Water supply has remained a major challenge to successive administrations in Niger state in the past 10 years . This attributed to the abandoning of the state water supply plan and heavy investments in water without commensurate results by the immediate past administration in the state.
The state government had declared 2009 year of water, but had refused to follow the water supply boosting plan that saw to the supply of ductile pipe that was meant to be laid and link a consolidated water supply network in the three senatorial districts of the state.
It was obvious that by the time the previous government was leaving in 2015, the water supply in major cities and rural areas was in precarious situation, as especially Minna the state capital could hardly get the desired water supply.
When the Present administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello came to office, the governor was emphatic about his desire to change the narratives and gradually assessed the situation to commence huge investment in Minna water works while also looking at the water supply situation in other major cities as well as rural areas.
The administration from the blueprint of the restoration agenda made water supply a nucleus of the action plan as a strategic sector that majority of the people are desirous of positive change aside poor supply of electricity.
To this end the governor took the gauntlet every fiscal year to meet the desire of the people for availability of potable water. In this fiscal year for instance, he has explained during the budget presentation for 2018, that because his Administration attaches great importance to the provision of potable drinking water to the populace, the sum of N3.725 Billion has been earmarked for the rehabilitation of Kontagora, Bida Suleja and Minna water works.
He said that provision has also been made for the rehabilitation of Bi-water Schemes at Dabban, Matandi, Ibeto, Edozhigi, Salka and Auna at the total cost of N42.6million, adding that feasibility studies is to be commissioned on the construction of new water treatment plant in Minna.
He said, “in the area of rural water supply, 100 solar powered and 200 hand pump boreholes will be drilled and rehabilitated respectively in different communities across the state”.
Consequently, it did not come as a surprise that the state executive council in March this year approved fund for some works to start in earnest.
The state commissioner for Water Resources, Mamman Musa had told Journalists then that the government has procured high lift pumps and other accessories at the cost of N700million.
He explained that the equipments were to boost water supply in six cities of Minna, Kontagora, Bida, Suleja, New Bussa and Lapai in the on going effort to boost water supply.
According to him, some of the pumps have been installed at Minna water works, adding that, “this has led to tremendous improvement of water supply”. The commissioner said government has commenced overhauling of obsolete reticulation facilities to ensure that water flow to every home in Minna and other cities.”
LEADERSHIP Sunday findings revealed that some of the provisions of the budget based on the promises made during the mid term assessment tour of the governor are being implemented.
Judging from what was inherited by the administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in terms of water supply, a resident in Tunga, Minna Mohammed Gambo there had been great improvement in water supply..
Another Resident of Bida, Nma Kudu stated that it was not yet a complete success story in Bida but residents were pleased that the pumps as promised by the Governor to improve water supply had been delivered and works were going on to improve supply to the area.
Already, a check from the state Ministry of Water resources showed that the government has procured and installed accessories for water supply pumping equipment for Chanchaga (Minna), Suleja, Bida, and Kontagora water works.
The commissioner of Water Resources, Mamman Musa delivered the pumps to Bida, Suleja and Kotagora recently.
Similarly, there is the improvement of impresit and Bi-water Treatment plant at Chanchaga water works, extension of water supply pipeline to Government House, ,Zarumai Type B and A Quarters and Maiduguri Road in Minna. Just as there was desilting of chanchaga intake-weir for more capacity.
Also, there is procurement of Trunz solar water treatment machine for emergency intervention at the water works to ensure that water is pumped out regularly.
Apart from the work on the urban water works , the government has also embarked on construction of 180 hand pump boreholes , 48 motorized boreholes and rehabilitated 324 boreholes.
These boreholes were constructed based on the promise of the Governor to the people during his mid term assessment tour of the 25 local government areas of the state. Aside the drilling of 100 hand pump boreholes in the 25 local government areas of the state, the government also embarked on rehabilitation of 200 hand pump boreholes in the areas.
In the same vein, the government has embarked on construction of another 50 motorised/solar powered boreholes across the state while rehabilitating the Bi- water schemes in Dabban, Matandi, ibeto, Edozhigi, salka, Auna and Nasarawa kainji.
A resident of Kontagora, Garba Yau stated that for a long time no administration in Niger state had holistically tackled the problem of water supply in the urban and rural areas as the present administration is doing.
According to him, most time governments at all level adopt a cosmetic approach that only solve the short term problem of water supply but noted that the Abubakar Sani Bello’s administration from inception has set a strategic restoration agenda to reverse the negative trend.
The huge budgetary allocation to water supply in this year’s budget and the systematic implementation of the elements of the budget as far as water supply is concerned has indeed changed the narrative for the better and will soon bring to an end the worrying state of water supply in the state.