The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has called on Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari to speed up completion of the phase 1 B of the Zobe Regional Water Project in the state.
Minister in charge of the Ministry, Engr Sulaiman Adamu, made the plea at the recently commissioned multi- billion naira water project in the state, hoping that the Katsina State Government will speedily complete Phase 1B of the project to sustainably operate and maintain the water supply facility to provide long term service to the people.
Adamu notes that , “This will require the involvement of all stakeholders from the state policy makers, operators and water users.
„I urge the State Government to provide the needed enabling environment that will make the Water Board perform their duties as required, and for the water users to optimally contribute to the running cost of the facilities within their affordability.
„Water supply facilities such as this Zobe Scheme require huge costs to operate and maintain, and to ensure a high level of service. Therefore, the State Water Board and consumers must partner to ensure the sustainability of operations.“
Engr Adamu also explained that the federal government water supply intervention in the state, was not only restricted to Zobe Regional Water Supply Scheme, but also carried out several projects in the rural areas which include: the completion and upgrading of water supply to Dutsi and Mashi commissioned in 2018; construction of 96 water points in Danja, Funtua and Bindawa LGAs under our PEWASH Programme; construction of 12 water points in 11 LGAs under the rural water supply programme and the construction of 13 water points under the COVID-19 WASH intervention programme in eight LGAs.
„In addition, numerous other rural water schemes have been constructed by Sokoto-Rima River Basin Development Authority in the form of constituency projects and other special interventions, the ministry has also completed.
„The construction of Sulma Dam, and rehabilitation of Sabke Dam while the construction of Ingawa-Dallaje and Jere dams are on-going.
„Under our irrigation programme, we have recently awarded the contract for upgrading Sabke Irrigation Project to operate with solar power system to make it sustainable. Rehabilitation and Expansion of Jibiya Irrigation Project is being packaged for contract award this year,” he said.
Expressing satisfaction with the progress made on the implementation of the sanitation programme in the state, he said, “The state is currently leading with 16 out of the 61 LGAs that have so far achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in the country.
„We are also complementing efforts of the state with the construction of sanitation facilities in public places and recruitment of 2,300 of the planned 3,400 youth volunteers, 100 per LGA for hand washing and ODF campaign state-wide.“
Thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for not only approving the special funding for the project, but also being present to commission the water project.
Responding, Governor Aminu Bello Masari thanked the federal government for carrying out several projects in the state, including the 25 years abandoned Zobe Project which, according to him was in line with the Restoration Agenda of his administration, saying the Zobe Water Plant was part of the MoU the federal government entered into with the state in October 2017, to boost water supply with and address water scarcity.
He added that the federal government paid N22 billion to complete their part of the agreement. He said the arrangement has been put in place for the completion of phase 1 B of the project at a cost of N4, 966,499.00.