Hassan Muhammad Tukur Reports
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state has declared a state of emergency on water, sanitation and hygiene sector in the state.
Speaking during a world press conference held to declare the state of emergency, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari recalled that president Muhammad Buhari had in November last year declared a state of emergency in the water, sanitation and hygiene -WASH in the country.
The Governor explained that the declaration is in line with the report of Nigerian WASH poverty diagnostic index of 2017, which indicates that 61 percent of Nigerians have access to improved water in their premises.
He revealed that the report further indicates that access to piped borne water in urban premises declined from 32 percentage in 1990 to 7 percentage in 2015.
DPH News reports that during the national declaration, Governor Masari said president Muhammad Buhari requested state governments to domesticate declaration of emergency in WASH sector in their states.
The Governor used the occasion to X-ray the progress made by the present APC administration in WASH sector from inception to date, adding that “water supply is among the five key areas of the Restoration Agenda of the present administration in the state.”
He explained that series of measures have been taken on the short term to address the WASH service delivery in the state.
Under the short term plan, the Governor explained that the state government had replaced highlift pumps at Ajiwa water works, which he said assist greatly in pumping of water from Ajiwa to katsina metropolis.
According to the governor, repairs and replacement of pumps had been effected in Funtua and Malumfashi water works.
The Governor added that government had replaced submersible pumps and generating sets in Daura water works.
Also, Sabke water works was commissioned while semi urban water supply projects at Dutsi and Mashi have also been commissioned in an effort to increase access to safe drinking water in the state.
Under the medium and long term plan, Governor Masari stated that government had gone far in the complete rehabilitation and expansion of various water works across the state, stressing that Ajiwa water works is undergoing rehabilitation with additional pumps house to augment the existing one while Malumfashi water works had been redesigned with the dam being expanded and a new treatment plant is to be constructed to increase access to portable water to Malumfashi and kankara local governments.
As part of the effort of the state government to ensure uninterrupted water supply, the Governor revealed that diesel is being provided to all the water works and some selected semi urban water supply schemes in the state.
The state government, he said “invested significantly through effective partnership with Development Partners such as UNICEF and DFID.”
Since the inception of APC administration to date, he said over 3500 hand pump boreholes, 100 solar motorised boreholes and 450 pit latrines have been constructed in communities, primary schools, comprehensive health centres and market places across the state.
In the area of sanitation and hygiene, Governor Masari said the state government had done well as a result of which over 3000 communities across the 26 SHAWN local governments have been declared open defecation free .
In addition, he said katsina state has the largest number of communities certified as open defecation free in Nigeria, saying a recently published world Bank report on the NORM survey indicates that katsina state has the highest percentage of safety managed sanitation in the country.
The governor further revealed that Zobe regional water supply project phase one had reached 90 percent completion stage, adding that it was envisaged that with the completion of the project around December this year, access to water supply in katsina and environs would be enhanced significantly.
He added that the phase one B of Zobe Dam project will supply treated water from Dutsinma top hills through Karofi, kafin soli, kankiya and Charanchi.
The Governor however said the achievements recorded in the WASH sector are not enough to achieve the desired results.
While declaring the state of emergency in the WASH sector, the Governor directed the state ministry of water Resources to establish inter Ministerial steering committees on WASH to be chaired by the Governor.
He also directed relevant ministries, Departments and Agencies-MDAs to launch sector reform through the adoption of state level action plan roadmap and WASH state investment plan.
Relevant stakeholders were also asked to participate in accessing the National WASH fund at the federal ministry of water Resources.