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Minister lauds ODSG over KAMOMI Aketi

By Josephine Oguntoyinbo & Chris Chimezie
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Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, has lauded the Ondo State Government over the commissioning of Kamomi Aketi Accelerated Water Scheme at Ayede-Ogbese in Akure North Local Government yesterday.

The water scheme has the capacity to provide 100,000 litres of potable water with 160 fetching points for the people of Ayede Ogbese.

He explained that the consequences of lack of access to water and sanitation included economic losses, high prevalence of water-related diseases, reduced school enrolment and attendance, loss of dignity, increased risks of insecurity and violence against women and children.

“Water is life and has no substitute. However, our country today still has significant challenges of access to adequate Water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (Wash).

“Recent statistics from the WASH-NORM (National Outcome Routine Mapping) survey indicate that about 67.9 percent of our population have access to improved water supply from all sources while 41.5 percent have access to basic sanitation facilities.

“Furthermore, about 25 percent of our population practise open defecation and this makes our country number two rank amongst all nations still practising open defecation in the world,” he said.

The Minister further assured of the resolve to mobilise resources from the Federal Government, beginning with the 2019 budget and from the development partners, in support of the programme.

“We will also promote the programme delivery modality to other states to give the necessary prominence that Ondo State deserves on Rural Water  Supply.

“I will like to encourage the State Government to please include provision of sanitation facilities in the public places in the programme so as to make Ondo State Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2025 which is the target year for ODF in our country,” he said.

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Earlier, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said a government must be responsible and responsive to the needs of the people.

“We have been able to do that. We met water supply at four percent. It is not something any government can stand, but with all these boreholes rehabilitated, it has really improved,” he said.

He further said Ondo State laws on open defecation would be improved to end open defecation, and urged everyone to have toilets in their homes.

“Our Minister has challenged us to take along the issue of public toilets, so that open defecation will end, and all these water borne diseases will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Governor Akeredolu also urged the people of Ogbese to utilise the water scheme properly, and warned them not to pay anyone money as toll for water.

“Those paying for water are those that want the water in their homes and taps,” he said.

He, however, used the occasion to solicit Federal Government’s assistance in line with the 2019 programme and project of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in the areas of water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

Also, Chairman of Ondo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA), Mrs Yetunde Adeyanju said the scheme is an innovation with new direction and sustainable plan for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.

She added that it will optimally utilise underground water unlike the stand-alone motorised and handpump boreholes that would serve a lesser population.

Adeyanju further explained that the Scheme is to improve, sustain and expand safe water supply to over 3,000 communities in the state.

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“It is designed to have 5km reticulation and distribution network with a storage tank of 50m capacity that would discharge at full capacity twice a day with 100 public standpipes, 200 fetching points while one fetching point will serve 50 people.

“The Scheme is powered with solar energy and two deep boreholes and the Sanitation component is to achieve 100 percent open defecation free, three months after provision of safe water access in an aggressive approach in the benefited community”, she said.

She, however, explained that the intervention in Ogbese was necessitated by the fact that Ayede-Ogbese has nine handpump boreholes and two solar powered boreholes of which none was functioning, a situation that made it very difficult for the community to have access to improved water source.

The Chairman assured that the accelerated water scheme is expected to spread to other communities soonest.

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