Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has pledged to ensure an end to the perennial water scarcity experienced in the state before 2023.
Bagudu gave the assurance during an inspection tour of borehole drilling equipment at the premises of the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
The governor, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Birnin Kebbi, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad-Argungu, said: “before 2023, there will be no community in Kebbi State without potable drinking water.”
He explained that provision of potable drinking water remained one of the top priorities of his administration and appealed to beneficiaries to safeguard the facilities in their respective areas.
According to him, the visit to RUWASSA was to assess the drilling rigs in the agency and the challenges the agency was facing, as well as to detail the mobilisation of a drilling rig to one of the villages the governor had promised potable drinking water.
Accompanied by the Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Nura Usman-Kangiwa, the representative of the governor inspected the stores, as well as the drilling equipment, to ascertain the readiness of the agency to carry out the directives of the governor, under the ministry of water resources.
Shortly after the facility tour, the Chief of Staff told journalists in an interview that the visit followed the directives of the governor to ensure that communities in the state were provided with potable drinking water.
“What informed our visit here is in compliance with His Excellency’s directives. When we visited Kaare District in Yeldu, one of the Village Heads stopped us and complained that they are still having difficulties in accessing potable drinking water.
“And his Excellency vividly recalled that about three years ago, he had given approval to the Ministry of Water Resources to provide those communities with potable drinking water.
“Unfortunately what we gathered, and what the village head told us, was that about three locations were selected and drilled, up to the depth of 120 meters, but they could not get water.
“But, coincidentally, just 150 meters away from that community, the same contractor constructed a borehole in that community at 80 meters and reached water source.”
Muhammad-Argungu said the ministry directed that the contractor should go to the same village where they got water on the opposite site and construct another well for the two communities to share.
“The Governor has promised that before 2023, God’s Willing, there will be no community that doesn’t have potable drinking water and that is why having known that, RUWASSA acquired two drilling rigs that can go deeper than that of the private contractor in all the locations.
“In Arewa Local Government, it can even go deeper to the depth where water source can be accessed.
“The GM of RUWASSA and his staff have confirmed to me that they have the equipment and other accessories that the village would get potable drinking water in the next one week.
“The Ministry of Water Resources and Arewa Local Government have also been directed by government to provide potable drinking water to 40 other locations in the area for the people and their animals,” he said.
Immediately after leaving RUWASSA, the Chief of Staff and the Commissioner proceeded to Kwalaye in Arewa local Government area, where they also inspected an old artisanal well that gushes out water, with a view to refurbishing it and also constructing a borehole for possible irrigation purposes.
He further said that the Commissioner had promised that RUWASSA would be mobilised in order to resuscitate its water for both farming and human consumption.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the visit to RUWASSA by the Chief of Staff was sequel to the directive of the governor on his visit to Tsohon Garin Masama in Arewa Local Government area last week.
Following the visit, the governor ordered the Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development to provide portable drinking water to the village, following a complaint he received from the village head.
In a remark, the Commissioner of Water Resources and Rural Development, Nura Usman-Kangiwa assured that the directives of the governor would be fully carried out to ensure that communities, particularly Tsohon Garin Masama, were provided with potable drinking water.
He appreciated the moral and financial support his ministry had been enjoying from the governor in the discharge of its mandate.