World Bank to Resettle, Compensate Victims of Water Project Reform in Ekiti

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By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The World Bank has promised to give adequate compensation to those affected by water reform project being undertaken across Ekiti in partnership with the state government.

The international financial institution has also expressed its readiness to partner with civil society groups to monitor the public projects to prevent corruption in the system.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday at a one day capacity building organised by Environmental Development and Family Health Organisation (EDFHO), the General Manager, Ekiti State Water Corporation, Mr. Olabisi Agbeyo, said $50 million was released for the project tagged ‘3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project’ in 2013 by the World Bank.

Agbeyo, represented by Nancy Otagbo, said the money released by the World Bank was being expended to rehabilitate Ero and Ureje dams as well as water treatment plants by the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led government.

She revealed that the World Bank was ready to rebuild  buildings affected and those permanently displaced will be given adequate compensation in the process of replacing the old pipes or laying new ones where reticulation is to be extended to.

“The victims of this water project are categorised as Projected Affected Persons. Those affected will be protected or safeguarded.

“Some may have to be permanently displaced or have the fences to their buildings pulled down or may not be able to access their means of livelihoods. All these people will get compensations from the World Bank,” she said.

Agbeyo said the Lusaka Water Works in Zambia has also been coopted into the project for its success and sustainability on how to drive the water system.

Shedding light on the project, a World Bank environmental consultant, Mr. Odinakachi Eric, said the institution is committed to reform the water sector in Ekiti for the citizens to have access to potable water.

He added that areas within Ado Ekiti capital city that will enjoy extension include satellite towns like: Onala, Olorunda, Olorunsogo and other fast growing communities around the metropolis.

“We are about to move to site and those affected will soon interface with us depending on how they are affected. But we are sure that none of them will suffer or be cheated for being affected by the construction,” she said.

She assured the people that most of the materials to be used won’t be substandard as witnessed in the past.

The EDFHO’s Project Manager, Mr. Love Ogundipe, urged the civil society  organisations and other stakeholders to monitor the project and prevent any corrupt practices.

“The essence of the project is to benefit humanity and all stakeholders must work hard to making sure that it succeeds,” he said.