Fayemi declares emergency in Ekiti State water sector
‘State will be free from open defecation by 2030’
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, yesterday declared emergency in the state’s water sanitation and hygiene sector, stressing that open defecation will be eradicated before 2030.
Fayemi, who lamented that the state ranked second in open defecation in the country, said no state needed the emergency declared by the Federal Government than Ekiti. He said the emergency was in line with steps taken by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had initiated similar policy under Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in partnership with the World Bank.
Fayemi spoke in Ikun-Ekiti, Moba Local Government yesterday at the commencement of turn around maintenance (TAM) of Ero Dam and rehabilitation of main transmission pipelines from Ifaki-Ekiti to Ado-Ekiti.
The project, which will cost $55 million was awarded to Sagittarius Henan Engineering and will be completed within 18 months.He said Federal Government and World Bank’s WASH programme was initiated to reduce the amount of money being paid by Nigerians on hospital bills after contacting all kinds of diseases from unhygienic water sources.
Fayemi said statistics had shown that water supply to urban centres and rural areas in the country has reduced by 15 per cent in the last 15 years in spite of geometric increase in the population.He added that reduction in water supply had led to increase in hospital bills paid by people due to communicable diseases.
The governor disclosed that the state paid N700 million counterpart funding to complete the project that was approved by the World Bank in 2014.“It was because of the safety of the citizens that the Federal Government declared emergency in WASH. So, Ekiti has keyed into the programme with this project.
“Ekiti ranked second in Nigeria in open defecation. We shall put up institutional and legal frameworks to ensure that the state is free of open defecation before 2030.Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Utilities, Olumide Ajayi, said the rehabilitation on Egbe Dam in Gbonyin Local Government was being co-financed by the state and European Union (EU).
General Manager, Ekiti State Water Corporation, Olabisi Agbeyo, disclosed that this was the first time major rehabilitation will be carried out on the Ero Dam in 33 years of its establishment.
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