BY HEMBADOON ORSAR, Makurdi, Muh’d Zangina Kura, Dutse And Abu Nmodu, Minna
Although some residents in Makurdi, the Benue State capital have access to potable water, those living at the rural areas are still accessing the essential commodity from unhygienic sources.
During a trip to Norma community in Mbatiav, Gboko local government area, LEADERSHIP Friday saw the residents trekking miles from their homes to get drinking water from holes dug in Fadama areas where women queue as early as 3am to get just a bucket of water.
In an interview with the leader of the youths in the community Terdzungwe Norma, he lamented that the community was only remembered during election time but after that the community was forgotten by their representatives as well as the state government.
It was also observed that most landlords in Màkurdi and its environs have resorted to digging boreholes, which serve as the major source of water for their tenants while other households especially in High Level and Wadata areas of Màkurdi are surviving on water vendors popularly called “Mai-rua”.
The commissioner for water resources and solid mineral Engr. Dondu Ahire said most communities in the state whose pipes are in good shape are enjoying portable water, except those that their pipes have one issue or the other. In Jigawa State, UNICEF report of 2019, revealed that it has achieved the provision of accessible, potable and clean drinking water to over 87 percent of its population.
The main source of drinking water to the people of the state are hands pumps , motorized boreholes and some few urban water schemes.
Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar said as at January 2021, the state had achieved over 90 per cent which ranks it first in Northern Nigeria and second at the national level in term of the provision of water supply to its population.
In Niger State, water supply has improved in, Minna, the state capital, Kontagora and Bida in the last two years though many areas are yet to be reticulated. Consequently, the extension of pipelines in Minna and Bida is being carried out while efforts are being made to complete the Agaie/Katcha statewide water project during the financial year.
Also works have started on the renovation of the water treatment plants in Suleja near the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and some rural communities across the state. Most of these jobs are expected to be completed this yesr especially when they have been captured in this year’s budget.