By Nick Dugba.
There is hope that as soon as the test transmission of the Taraba state/AfDB funded Jalingo water project is completed, there would be a ‘consistent’ supply of potable drinking water for Jalingo residents and its environs.
This disclosure was made by the General Manager of Taraba Water Supply Agency, Engr. Musa Siam, when he was briefing journalists during a media parley, ‘Face the Press’ in Jalingo.
The parley included the Commissioner for Water Resources, Barr. Emmanuel Gowon, Project Manager of Taraba state Rural Water Supply Agency (RUWASSA), Isiaka Bashir and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, who jointly discussed on government’s efforts at improving water supply, sanitation and irrigation in the State.
According to the General Manager, the State government had been paying N11 million on a monthly basis since 2013 as counterpart funding for the water project which as at today stands at N500 million.
He stated that one of the ways to ensure sustainability of the project was through providing institutional capacity and reforms in the sector. He added that there was a robust arrangement on ground to ensure the agency runs in a commercial way to generate revenue.
The Commissioner for Water Resources, Barr. Emmanuel Gowon, however, listed the achievements of the Ishaku’s government to include, the revival of water supply in Wukari, Ibbi, Zing, Sardauna.
Also, an additional 150 boreholes had been approved by the State EXCO to complement the already 500 existing boreholes.
He gave the assurance that another 80 boreholes would be constructed in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and hoped that within one year, the State would have completed 250 boreholes.
Added to that is the fact that the Federal government dam project in Monkin, Zing LGA, had commenced.
Gowon however, condemned those who say the governor focused on water at the expense of other development needs, as being ‘selfish’.
He defended the action saying water was so important that if adequately provided, other development needs would fall into place.
He added that health and agriculture depended on water and that epidemics would be prevented and farming would thrive if water were provided.
Gowon also disclosed that the delegation that visited Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Swaziland, went there to ‘benchmark’ their water supply system and implemented it back home.
In his contribution, Project Manager of Taraba State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, (RUWASSA), Isiaka Bashir, hinted that, during past administrations, project implementation was done with impunity but that the present administration ensured that the right thing was done and due process followed in that aspect.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, in his remarks, praised the present administration for its efforts in the area of water supply which was also acknowledged by most participants at the parley.