By Audrey Lotechukwu
THUR, JULY 23 2020-theG&BJournal– Once clean water was a scrappy item, scarcely making it into discuss at executive meetings in Ekiti State. This essential life item is gripping attention as it is now accelerated by the current state administrators for economic returns.
The State Government is investing N19.8 billion in new water infrastructure facilities in two of its major dams crucial for its agriculture, environment, health and social investment programmes, and in transmission networks across most parts of the State.
The new projects, which is jointly funded by the World Bank as part of its project in the State will help improve access of the citizens of the State to portable water, and as the State Government noted, eradicate open defecation.
Billed as the largest water project in the country, it include the ‘’complete rehabilitation of two major dams, the Egbe and Ero dams as well as the installation of water transmission and reticulation units across communities in the State expected to supply nine Local Government Areas including Ado Ekiti. It also includes the construction of a new water reservoir, the Fajuyi reservoir.
The transmission pipelines spans 215 kilometres and are being laid across Ekiti State as part of the State Third National Urban Water project.
According to the World Bank’s document on the Third National Urban Water project for Nigeria, the development objectives are to increase access to improved water supply service in selected states of Nigeria and improve financial viability of existing water utilities in those states, and increase the investment planning capacity of participating states.
The State Governor Kayode Fayemi in July 2019, declared a ‘’state of emergency in water sector’’ to kick-start the project, after years of water scarcity and the hardship it brings on its citizens, and overall impact on economy of the State.