banner ad

How We Battle Water Scarcity in Bauchi – Commissioner

| May 23, 2013 More

Bauchi โ€” Bauchi is one of the states of the federation experiencing the problem of perennial water scarcity, In this interview, Alhaji Sani Mohammed Burra, Bauchi State Commissioner of Water Resources speaks on some of the strategies adopted by the government to end water scarcity in the state. Excerpts:

Bauchi State Governor Mallam Isa Yuguda was recently given an award by the Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative (RWASI) as the best performing governor in the water sector, to many this is a as the state is currently battling water scarcity, what is your reaction?

He is not the only governor that received the award , because the awards were given to six state governors one from each of the six geopolitical zone, and Mallam Isa Yuguda received his own as the best governor in the North eastern part of the country while others including governors of Benue, Cross river, Anambra, Ondo, and Sokoto were also awarded.

Our Governor was given the award based on the contributions and innovative ideas he was able to introduce in reforming the water sector, and some people may not notice the gigantic efforts made by him , particularly within Bauchi and environs, and you cannot judge his performance without knowing the history of Bauchi township water supply projects.

The Bauchi township water supply project known as Bakalori Township Water Supply Scheme was professionally designed to terminate in 2005 prior to the coming of the present administration. When the present administration came on board it observed that Gubi Dam Water Treatment Plant produced only two million gallons of water which would not be enough to the people of the state because of the rapid growth of the state in terms of population and at that time the state needed 40 million gallons of water to meet its human consumption need.

The state government first took a bold steps to address the problem, it repaired a mini treatment plant abandoned by the previous administration and government expanded the treatment plant , the rehabilitation and expansion cost over 450mn which helped and produce 2.5million gallons of water, to support the Gubi dam treatment plant. Government also rehabilitate and expanded the Gubi Dam treatment plant which helped the state to get about 12.5 million gallons of water.

The state government also wrote to the Federal Government seeking for intervention to improve additional supply of water in the state.

Secondly Governor Isa Yuguda awarded contracts for the constructions of boreholes in all hospitals maternities and primary and secondary schools in the state which cost over 1.3bn, and the government also awarded contract for the construction of 60 boreholes at different locations in the state and the government constructed 15 powered boreholes to boost water supply to the people.

The government invested over 1.3bn in water sector apart from the amount spent on daily maintenance and operations of the treatment plant which gulp hundreds of millions. The award was given to him because of his effort to reform the water sector in the state.

How can a state reform its water sector?

Before you start reforming a water sector you must fulfill some conditions like you most have water and sanitation policy, and Bauchi is one of the first states to launch Water and Sanitation Policy, and we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of the United State of America. The United State Ambassador came to Bauchi, he signed the MoU on behalf of the US government so that the US government in collaboration with Bauchi government will invest in water sector.

Also the Federal Ministry of Water Resources selected 12 states for World Bank assistance, among the 12 states Bauchi is included after screening the 12 states three states were selected among them Bauchi , River and Ekiti states were qualified because of the reliable policy they have on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and based on these performance the Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative (RWASI)decided to give the Governor of Bauchi State an ward.

How does the state intend to address the persisting water scarcity in spite of all the efforts made by the government?

As I have told you earlier it is an inherited problem, that the water project terminated in 2005 when we came on board we took the bull by the horn to tackle the problem through the water sector reform. under the reform as I told you earlier Bauchi was selected among the three states to benefit from the World Bank assistance, the World Bank will assist the state with $30million and the assistance will be increased up to $100million dollars or above based on the state performance in executing the project, and we are hoping to get the money this financial year.

Similarly we have written to the Federal Government on the water situation in the state and the FG which will provide over 50bn and water problem is not limited to Bauchi State alone. it has to do with all part of the country.

This year we held a meeting of all water sector stakeholders in Nigeria at the end the question is how can Nigerians get 75% access to safe portable water by 2015 and at the end of the meeting it was discovered Nigeria need to spend 350bn annually. Based on that you will know that to solve the problem requires everybody’s participation, it’s a collective responsibility together with the private sector, donor agencies NGOs .

In Bauchi from what I have told you we are on the right track. By the grace of God we will address the problems of water before the end of this administration in 2015 so that the governor will leave another legacy on reforming the water sector in Bauchi State.

Why is it that if one goes to Gubi Dam, the main source of water in the state one will see abundance of water, yet residents suffer water scarcity?

Yes we have sufficient water in Gubi Dam but the main problem is the treatment plant, the treatment plant needs complete expansion and overhauling as all the pipes that carry water to the people have expired and that is the reason why you will see our pipes are busting everywhere. Remember the pipes were supposed to have been changed before 2005 which was the life span of Bakalori Water Project. Even the dam needs some repairs because its wall are becoming weak, it needs total rehabilitation and expansion which will cost the state over 50bn as I told you earlier that was the reason why we wrote to the Federal ministry of Water Resources and we also look for international donors for assistance and we are qualified to get the assistance from the World Bank. With that all the problems will be solved insha Allahu before the end of this administration.

What message do you have for water stakeholders in the state?

Well for now normalcy is being restored in the area of water supply, so I am appealing to the people of Bauchi State to cultivate the habit of storing water. You cannot expect to see your tap with water 24 hours but when you have water use containers and reserve the water you will use at the period when your tap is dry . Through this you will get water that you will use before you get another supply, so also some people that use booster in their house to collect all the water supplied denying their neighbours. They should stop this practice, we have already set up a committee to disconnect the house of anybody found to have used booster to collect the whole water for his area, and people should bear with us gradually we will overcome the problem.

Category: Bauchi State News

Comments are closed.