At least 196 solar-powered water supply facilities have been constructed, upgraded, and rehabilitated across six local government areas in Katsina State.
The Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this in Bindawa, one of the beneficiary communities on Wednesday.
The rehabilitation exercise comes less than one month after President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned and handed over the recently completed Zobe Regional Water Treatment Plant Project located at Dutsinma Local Government Area of the state.
In addition to the new facilities, a training was organised for some selected water facilities managers under the PEWASH program.
The programme, otherwise called Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene, is an intervention that seeks to increase access to water supply and sanitation, for the achievement of SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 by 2030, in the rural areas across the country.
Aimed at equipping the water facilities managers with basic knowledge, the training would assist them in addressing challenges that they may likely face in the course of discharging their duties.
Representing the minister, the Desk Officer in charge of the Ministry’s PEWASH Program, Mr. Namdam Nakyan, announced that the facilities provided will be 100% owned, operated, managed, and maintained by the beneficiary communities.
He said a total of 1,140 water supply facilities in 1,140 beneficiary communities were constructed, upgraded, and rehabilitated in 34 LGAs across the six zones in the country, under the 50% Federal Government component.
“It is, therefore, necessary for us to ensure proper utilization of the water supply facilities, to ensure continuous functionality of the facilities with a view to having an adequate supply of water to fight these diseases,” Mr Nakyan told the new facilities managers.
Earlier in his address, the Executive Director of Katsina Rural Water Supply Scheme Agency (RUWASSA), Engineer Aminu Dayyabu Safana, represented by the Agency’s Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Abdullahi commended the effort of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for its intervention which he believed will better the lives and enhance the health status of the Katsina people.
Abdullahi, while calling on the beneficiaries to form community committees aimed at saving all funds generated from the water users in their respective communities to sustain and maintain the facilities, noted that socio-economic activities would not go on smoothly without a potable water supply.
Two of the facilities managers, identified as Hamza Yahaya and Abdussalam Abdullahi, described the project as a welcome development and one that has come at the right time when people in their community were hitherto experiencing water scarcity.
They thanked the Federal and state governments for the gesture and pledged to properly maintain the facilities and ensure their sustainability.
In March, the Katsina State Government had promised that it would lay a solid foundation to restore the entire water sector in the state, with a multi-billion naira water project aimed at covering 70 per cent of the Katsina population.
He said upon completion of the project, waterborne diseases, maternal mortalities, as well as the cost of medications among the Katsina residents will be reduced to the barest minimum.
He further revealed that the present state administration has successfully drilled over 1,700 boreholes across the 34 LGAs with each of the LGAs having at least not less than 50 boreholes.