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Why Ondo govt embarked on massive water projects – Akeredolu

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Why Ondo govt embarked on massive water projects – Akeredolu
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Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says his massive investment in water projects is necessitated by his discovery that access to safe water is low in the state.

The governor said the water issue had been one of his administration’s major focus since it came into office in 2017.

Akeredolu in a statement by Mrs Bamidele Olateju, the state Commissioner for Ministry of Information and Orientation, said the ongoing water projects in Akure and five other local governments areas of the state were to address lack of access to portable water.

According to him, the six local government areas of Akure South, Akure North, Idanre, Ondo East, Ifedore and Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo in Ondo State are to be provided with portable water under a partnership agreement between the Ondo state government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

He said the project would be executed through a credit facility of 104.2 million dollars co-finance project.

Akeredolu said the AfDB facility would not only cover the reticulation to other parts of Akure metropolis, but also assist in facilitating the rehabilitation of Owena-Ondo Road Water Supply Scheme.

He noted that his administration on assumption of office in 2017, took a critical look at the percentage of water supply and access of the people to potable water only to discover a surprisingly abysmally low four per cent safe water coverage.

According to him, majority of the water schemes across the urban and rural areas of the state have become moribund and are no longer functioning.

He added that one of Nigeria’s largest dams, the Owena Multipurpose Dam located in Ondo state had been abandoned for a relatively long period of time while the Ondo-Owena Water Supply Scheme, along Ondo Road, had equally been dysfunctional for a long time.

Akeredolu said the situation made his administration to embark on projects to change the narrative by introducing the KAMOMI AKETI Water Policy with the aggressive construction and rehabilitation of boreholes for rural dwellers and the rehabilitation of dysfunctional water schemes in the urban areas.

“Today, by the special grace of God, we can disclose that the percentage of Ondo state residents that now have unhindered access to potable water have increased to 17.6 per cent and we are not resting on our laurels,’” the governor said.

He noted that the KAMOMI AKETI project had now become the template of provision of rural water in Nigeria.

He said that his administration had since embarked on massive investment in the restoration and expansion of existing urban water infrastructure across the state in order to provide water for all, in fulfilment of its campaign promises and commitment to the welfare of the people.

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Akeredolu said Okeigbo, Ako/Oba, Idoani, Okitipupa, Ilutitun and Araromi Obu Water Supply Schemes had been rehabilitated and had since been inaugurated to ensure provision of sustainable potable water supply to the communities and their environs.

He said the restoration efforts remained a key policy programme of his administration.

The governor further announced that more and more communities would continue to benefit:

“Rehabilitation of other moribund urban water schemes not covered under the scope of the AFD/AfDB credit facility, such as Awara, Ose/Owo, etc would equally be given attention as efforts are ongoing to secure funding from the Natural Resources Development Fund for their rehabilitation.” Akeredolu said.

He said the launch of the current effort with the French Development Agency/African Development Bank (AFD/AfDB)-assisted Ondo State Urban Water and Sanitation Project, arose on account of the report of a pre-feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the Owena Multipurpose Dam.

He said the study revealed that the initial AFD facility (US$57 million) secured through the Federal Government could not cover the reticulation to the entire Akure metropolis, and there was the need to do more.

Akeredolu appreciated the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, the management of the federal ministry of water resources, the French Development Agency, the African Development Bank Group and other Development Partners for their sustained interest in Ondo state.

He commended them particularly for their strong support for the development of the state’s water, sanitation and hygiene programme.