In a bid to ensure uninterrupted water supply in the state, especially Ilorin metropolis, the Kwara state government has in the last seven years committed N8 billion to Ilorin water reticulation project. Oladipo Magaji reports:
Because of its importance to human existence,successive administrations in Kwara state had made concerted efforts at ensuring that potable water is available at the doorsteps of the people of the state.
Past administrations in the state had carried out expansion works on the two major dams in Ilorin metropolis; Asa and Agba and other water sources in the state.
The hope of the community to get potable water was brighten during the reign of Dr Bukola Saraki as the governor in the state. The Saraki administration had started rehabilitation of Ilorin water project with billions of naira, wherein water pipes in the state were replaced.
The present administration of Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed increased production at the Asa Dam water works, Ilorin, from 4mgpd to 25.5mgpd, through its expansion.
As water reticulation projects in Ilorin metropolis is on-going there is also rehabilitation of existing 94 water works across the state. In addition, hundreds of motorised and hand pump boreholes have been drilled across the three senatorial districts
On assumption of office, Saraki who is the incumbent Senate President took up another challenge of ensuring that potable water was made available at the doorsteps of residents of Ilorin and environs. A new design of expansion of Ilorin water project was made and the contract was awarded at the cost of N2.3 billion.
The contractors commenced work on the Ilorin water reticulation project. Pipes were sunk across the length and breadth of Ilorin metropolis. The project also ensured the replacement of old pipes that had been laid in Ilorin for almost 40 years ago.
The present government led by Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, as a government of continuity did not allow the project to suffer any set back, but continued the project to ensure that all residents enjoy hygienic and potable water supply.
The governor at a function in Ilorin disclosed that N8 billion had been committed to Ilorin water reticulation project in the last seven years to tackle the problems of water supply in the state.
Governor Ahmed, at an interactive session with journalists, emphasised that “the project was put in place by the past administration of the former governor, Bukola Saraki. I can assure you that all hands are on deck to ensure its completion before I leave office.”
He explained that the water project has been categorised into three sections, which according to him has been going on without any hindrance.
“The primary section has been completed, while it only remains the secondary and tertiary aspects, which will soon be completed and by this the target of water for all would have been achieved.
“The implication of this is that water will now be flowing without any hindrance to all the homes of the people of the state”, the Governor explained.
Ahmed also disclosed that his administration has renovated about 17 water works across the state in his bid to ensure that water is available to all categories of people across the nooks and crannies of the state.
He added that his administration has provided boreholes to over 400 communities in the state and that so far his administration has fulfilled its election promises to the people in the last seven years, stressing that his “superlative achievements” was due to the legacy continue strategy of the past administration in the state.
Also speaking on the project, during the inspection of the Ilorin water reticulation, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Dr Afolabi Ezekiel disclosed that the state government has begun the erection of stand pipes across the Ilorin metropolis to ameliorate the problem of water scarcity.
Ezekiel further disclosed that the government is erecting stand pipes in 65 strategic locations in the State capital.
He disclosed that residents in some areas where the stand pipes have been erected were already enjoying uninterrupted water supply and assured that residents in other areas will soon begin to enjoy potable water.
Afolabi said that the stand pipes will be completed in the next two weeks, adding that residents in the areas can thereafter begin to connect water into their homes.
The permanent secretary further explained the the stand pipes were to serve as a palliative measure to cushion the adverse effect of scarcity of water on residents pending the commencement of the tertiary reticulation.
He emphasised that the present administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is committed to the completion of the ongoing water recirculation project in the State. He explained that the tertiary reticulation had been captured in the 2018 budget and will soon commence.
In their separate interviews, Mallam Oba Saadu Alabi of Ojutaye-Eleko Yangan and Alhaja Funmilayo Badmus of Taiwo Isale expressed gratitude to the State government on the initiative to provide succour to their sufferings.
They added that prior to the erection of the stand pipes, access to potable water had been hectic.
Some other areas where the stand pipes had been erected include; Kulende market, Tepatan Oyun, Amilengbe, Emir’s road and Oro road off Taiwo road.
It would be recalled that the consultant in-charge of Ilorin water reticulation and the former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof Suleiman Adeyemi recently shade light on the project at a press conference held at the Government House, Ilorin.
He told newsmen that in 2001, there was a World Bank programme on water called National rehabilitation project across Nigeria which sought to ensure provision of potable and hygienic water supply across the country.
He explained that in Kwara State, Ilorin, Offa, Omu-Aran, Patigi and Bacita were penciled down for the project and revealed that inadequate water production, lack of storage facilities, obsolete and deteriorated pipes among others were identified as major challenges then.
According to him, “a team of experts that work on the project discovered that old pipes that are banned by WHO in 1970 are still being used.
“The experts at the end of their findings suggested that the treatment plant at Asa-Dam river be doubled, the the water distribution network be renewed and the storage facilities be expanded.
“Water policy as at then is that all tiers of government should intervened in the efforts of ensuring potable and hygienic water supply across the country then.
“In 2003, the Federal Government took bull by the horn by offered to build treatment plant while the state was upgrading and refurbishing the old ones.
“By 2006 and 2007, the Federal Government was not forthcoming and the state government decided to take over the refurbishment of high lift pump station.
“When it was also discovered that water cannot get to the members of the public with the with the obsolete transmission pipes, government decided to embark on reticulation with expansion of storage facilities.
“Because of this, we planned to place a storage in Oloje area another in Hammond together with the old storage in Oko-Ose. We also planned to lay pipe on 305kilometre of land across Ilorin metropolis to get water to the people.
“But the government discovered that the contract sum was to much to bear at once but decided to take the projects one after the other.
“At the end before now, we are able to double treatment capacity, we constructed the high lift pump station among others “.
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