By Tosin Kolade
Abuja – Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Friday called on the Federal Government and other development partners to come to the aid of the state in boosting water supply to the people.
According to a statement issued in Abuja, the governor made the call at the Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources in Akure.
Akeredolu said that the lack of access to potable water had made individuals to seek alternative water sources, some of which were not hygienic to humans.
He said that the state government had been unable to provide potable water for the people of the riverine areas of Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas due to high salinity and iron content of the water.
“I am made to understand that the Federal Government is saddled with the construction of dams and making raw water available, this is a good policy and I am pleading that it should be fully extended to Ondo State.
“At the moment, most of our major urban water supply schemes, some of which were inherited from the defunct Western Region of Nigeria, have become old and inadequate in their capacities to meet the ever increasing population and water demand.
“Some of the dams have virtually collapsed, while others are in a terrible state of disrepair, as reflected in the documentary earlier shown to members at this meeting,’’ he said.
Akeredolu said it was saddening that in spite of the huge investments over the years to rehabilitate and upgrade some of the water schemes, there were still many more schemes awaiting attention.
The governor expressed optimism that the meeting would facilitate assistance and collaboration for in the state’s efforts to improve water supply, particularly to the rural people.
Akeredolu said that the existing Owena-Ondo Water Supply Scheme could no longer supply potable water to the residents of Akure, Ile-Oluji and Idanre because the dam had collapsed.
He said that the state had put in place an enabling environment for potential investors in the water and sanitation sector, adding that his administration was ready to partner with local and international investors who were willing to execute water supply projects.
“I am particularly happy to meet with those that can turn the water sector of Ondo State around for good and make shortage of water supply a thing of the past,’’ he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the National Council on Water Resources is the apex policymaking body for the water resources sector./
The council meets at least once in a year to formulate policies, strategies and management principles for the sector. (NAN)