BY ONYEKA AJUMOBI ONOCHIE
The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Thursday, July 23, flagged off the ministry’s phase 2 of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) program to continue in his quest to build on the ministry’s ongoing efforts.
During the WEBINAR event from his office in Abuja, Adamu noted that the programme was, in the main, designed to complement the existing water supply and sanitation strategies of his ministry, with a goal to improve on public health, poverty eradication and general well being of Nigerians through the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Targets 6.1 and 6.2, especially in the rural areas where most the populace reside.
He said the PEWASH initiative is a 15-year program of action that is divided into three main phases, namely; Phase 1 which covers 2016-2018 scheduled as preparatory activities on advocacy, mobilization and project take-off, while Phase 2 spanning 2019-2025 was designed for project expansion, implementation and delivery; just as Phase 3 (2026-2030) was meant for consolidation towards attaining 100% access to safe water supply and sanitation by 2030.
He expressed delight that Phase 1 has been earnestly completed, with 33 states signing the PEWASH protocol and expressing interest to partner with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the program implementation. “I am still hopeful that the remaining three states (Rivers, Borno and Anambra as well as FCT) will soon join the league,” he stressed.
Giving details of the program, the minister said, “The pilot program was initiated and successfully completed in Kano and Ogun States. In the two states, we rehabilitated, upgraded and constructed a total of 738 water supply facilities in eight LGAs at a cost of over N1.6billion. In Ogun State, we covered Obafemi Owode, Ikenne, Ogun Waterside and Ijebu North LGAs, while in Kano State, Kura, Tudun Wada, Rogo and Dawakin Kudu LGAs were covered. About 800,000 people living in these eight LGAs now have access to improved water supply.”
He continued, “We have experimented on institutional capacity with Ondo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency during which we supported them with N100million that has enabled them to rehabilitate about 1230 hand pump boreholes across the state, thereby improving access to water supply to one million people in the state,” adding that the ministry also introduced innovative technology for “sustainable drinking solutions” where five schemes are being developed by Water Health Company of India…at Sagamu, Ado-Odo Ota, Ilaro Town, Iperu and Ijebu Igbo Town in Ogun State.
Having gone thus far under Phase 1, he said his ministry is now energized to move to Phase 2, which is for expansion of project implementation and delivery.