In an effort to justify the huge Government spending on providing clean, pure and potable water to Jalingo the state capital and its environs, the Taraba State Water Supply Agency has stepped up activities aimed at encouraging residents of Jalingo the state capital to pay their water bills.
The General Manager, Taraba Water Supply Agency, Engr. Musa Buba Siam, who disclosed this to newsmen, said it has become necessary to sensitise the people to compliment the state Government’s investment in the water sector.
Engr. Buba Siam explained that since the present administration came on board, it has vigorously pursued ways to provide water to all the nooks and crannies of the state capital and maintained that it has become imperative for the Agency to be innovative in reaching out to the people with a view to explaining to them the huge Government spending and the need for their support through prompt payments of water bills.
He disclosed that, for the Agency to be effective in terms of operational coverage, Jalingo the state capital has been delineated into six operational offices for effective service delivery which covers prompt response to emergency, distribution of bills, effecting repairs on damaged pipelines, disconnection of customers that are not willing to pay and to improve on revenue generation.
Accordingly, the GM mentioned that to further boost the moral of the staff and make them function properly, tricycles were purchased to help them reach areas inaccessible for motor vehicles.
Buba Siam maintained that, the Agency is poised to take water supply to every household in the state, but stressed that it will only be possible if people are conscientise on the importance of being partners that are willing to support Government’s desire of providing one of the basic necessities of life to foster development in the state.
The General Manager used the forum to commend Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku for his foresight most especially in the water sub sector and revealed that since he took over as the Governor of the State, the release of monthly running cost for Taraba Water Agency has been consistent, and has helped immeasurably in water distribution in the state.
Similarly, the water Agency boss said very soon Jalingo the state capital will have another source of water supply, Jalingo primary Water supply scheme, which is aimed at complementing the African Development Bank, AFDB project in providing water to the state, noting that an additional tank will be constructed at the top of mount Jalingo by SCC construction Company handling the project.
Explaining further, the General Manager said the new tank that would be constructed would be beautifully positioned with special designs including passages that would be motorable and other features so that the place will serve multiple functions, a tourist center, restaurant and a mini mart will be built at the foot of the mountain.
Engr. Buba Siam revealed that because of State Government’s commitment in the water sector, Taraba State now has the best water laboratory in the North East region having been certified and approved by Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
He maintained that the Agency working towards commercialising water supply and explained that, it is one of the requirements of African Development Bank to fast track revenue for the sustenance of the facility without recourse to funding from Government.
Buba Siam appreciated Governor Darius Ishaku for taking the bull by the horn in addressing water supply in the state capital and posited that, providing pure potable drinking water to the populace is capital intensive coupled with fact that Jalingo is witnessing continuous rise in population daily because of insurgency in some parts of the region and solicited for more funding to able to meet up with population upsurge.
The General Manager appeal to the state Government to replace some of the old machines that were inherited from the defunct Gongola state most especially in areas like Ibi, Zing, Wukari, Karim Lamido and Sardauna local Government Areas to bring them back on stream and provide clean drinking water to those areas.
Another challenge faced by the Agency according to Engr. Buba Siam is lack of staff to effectively man water facilities across the state, recalling that when the state was created, the Agency had over 600 staff, but lamented that some have retired, some have died leaving the Agency with only 210 permanent staff which is inadequate considering the huge task of taking water to all the nooks and crannies of the state.
He revealed that, to meet up with this herculean task, the Agency had to engage the services of casual staff in order not lagged in providing water to the populace.
Buba Siam call on people of the state particularly staff of the Agency to key into the rescue mission of the present administration by working assiduously towards the success of this project and asserted that Darius Ishaku is a unique gift to the state and determined to ensure that all the basic amenities that would make life comfortable for Tarabans are promptly attended to.