Adesina Wahab, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Despite the promise by the Ekiti State Government in South West Nigeria to lay 20 kilometres of water pipes in Ado-Ekiti this year to boost water supply in the state capital and having budgeted N1.2 billion for the water sector this year, most residents of the town and other major towns in the state are still faced with acute water supply and are afraid that the situation could worsen in the coming dry season.
The fear of the residents is coming against the fact that the state has seven major dams, most of which are in deplorable condition.
The promise by the government early in the year to lay 20 kilometres of water pipes in Ado-Ekiti, investigation has revealed, is still in the work less than two months to the end of the year.
Late January this year, the Special Adviser on Infrastructure and Public Utilities to the Governor, Mr. Kayode Jegede, told newsmen at a public forum that the state government would spend N18 million on consultancy and N12 on logistics in its bid to find a lasting solution to water shortage in the state.
He had promised then that the new water pipes to be laid before the end of the year would help in getting water to more homes in the town.
However, nothing is happening as residents of most areas of Ado-Ekiti namely Adebayo, Iworoko Road, Basiri, Oke-Ila, Ajilosun among others have to rely on wells, boreholes and other sources to get their daily water supply.
Badly hit by the inadequate water supply are towns in Ekiti South and Central Senatorial Districts of which Ado-Ekiti is number one.
Ado-Ekiti, which is supposed to be served by, water from Ureje Dam, is still battling with inadequate water supply and the few public fetching points are as dry as ever.
At Ureje Water Works in Ado-Ekiti, officials of the Water Corporation are blaming the situation on paucity of funds, inadequate supply of electricity, lack of boosters to make water flow to designated areas, old water pipes that do burst frequently etc as factors hindering their performance.
Findings showed that it is only Ero Dam, located in Ewu-Ekiti, Ekiti North Senatorial District, that is producing at nearly half its capacity, thereby able to supply water intermittently to few town in the zone.
However, the residents of the state were taken aback last week when the state government said it would start to install meters in public water fetching points before the end of the year to regulateusage of pipe-borne water in the state
The Special Adviser to the Governor, Kayode Jegede, said the metering system would commence in Igogo and Ikosu communities in Moba Local Government Area of the state as pilots for the programmes.
The two towns are served by Ero Dam.
The governor’s aide said Ekiti State would benefit from the European Union (E.U) financing of water projects in 2013 alongside Plateau and Adamawa states.
Commenting on the development, a community leader in Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Femi Omolusi, described the water situation in the state as shocking.
According to him, “it is unimaginable that the state which has seven dams is still experiencing water shortage and people are living in the fear of water-borne diseases. Remember that only a couple of months ago, the state government raised the alarm of cholera outbreak in some towns and when the dry season sets in, where will people have access to water.”