By Iyobosa Uwugiaren
Ten communities in the Federal Capital Territory and the proposed Abuja University of Technology will benefit from the recently completed comprehensive water scheme constructed by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals in Abaji area of the capital city.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, gave this indication during the commissioning of the water project on Tuesday, in Abaji, Abuja.
The project which was delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory and the Abaji Area Council has the capacity to deliver 5,000 cubic meters of water to over 100, 000 people a day.
The Comprehensive Water Supply Scheme also has parts of its key features, an intake plant, filtering and treatment plant (with aeration tank, clarifier), high-lift pumping and booster station.
According to the Presidential adviser, the laudable project is a product of many years of intense activity, hard work and determination.
The project commenced under the 2009 MDGs intervention, but could not be completed due to the paucity of funds. But the presidential adviser said she took up what then appeared to be an abandoned project when her attention was drawn to it in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s ideology of continuity in government.
“As part of our commitment to the SDGs, we counterpart funded this Project under 2017 SDGs-CGS to FCT. The Project is aimed at providing portable water in Abaji and nine other neighbouring communities, including Nuku village, Naharati, the proposed Abuja University of Technology, Abaji among others.
“Evidently, this noble initiative is directly linked to the achievement of SDG-3 on Quality Health and Well-being for all at all ages and SDG-6 on Clean water and sanitation for all,” Orelope-Adefulire stated.
The Presidential aide further assured of the continuous commitment of the government to delivering on pro-poor projects and programmes in its bid to improve the living standards of the people.
She added, “As a government, despite the challenges of our time, we will continue to prioritize policies and programmes in support of the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria. As we commenced the Decade of Action for the SDGs, we must all step up our efforts, so that no Nigerian will be left behind.“
In her remarks, the Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu stated that the project will help address the seemingly intractable problem of water scarcity among the people of Abaji and its environs.
“Residents of Abaji township and its environs can now heave a sigh of relief and satisfaction as they now have access to uninterrupted supply of clean water in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Nigerian Drinking Quality Standard.
“I have no doubt that this will help to improve the health and economic condition of the beneficiaries of the project, and take the FCT a small step closer to advancing the cause of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) attainment”, the Minister said.
The Minister added that while government strives to provide the essential infrastructure, as well as maintain the existing ones, it cannot do it all alone in view of the scarce resources at its disposal. She noted that in order to ensure sustainability and uninterrupted water supply to the communities, the project facilities need to be serviced and maintained regularly.
She added that essential chemicals and reagents for water treatment and purification must also be provided regularly to keep the water plant functioning.
According to her, “These are capital-intensive and considering the economic realities and subsisting competing needs, the FCT Administration shall continue to rely on partnerships such as the one with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President (OSSAP) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that delivered this project, to deepen and extend service delivery.”