Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A consortium of experts under the auspices of Geomatics Nigeria has appealed to the Ekiti State Government to initiate policy that would ensure improved budgetary spending for serious rural water supply and hygiene promotion.
The Coordinator of Water Sanitation and Hygiene Project (WASH) in Geomatics Nigeria, Dr. Daniel Akintunde-Alo, said this in Ado Ekiti at the weekend during a validation workshop for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation investment plan in Nigeria for Zone B.
Akintunde-Alo, said the water supply investment plan would help in developing roadmaps for Zone B comprising Ekiti, Lagos, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Ondo States in order to plan ahead to meet the 2030 SDG’s projection.
He added that reports by Ekiti State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) enumerators that were subjected to analysis indicated that many hand dug wells, motorised boreholes and solar powered motorised boreholes in rural communities were malfunctioning, thereby creating undersupply of potable water.
He said: “We appreciate the fact that RUWASSA was well structured with GM and board in place for its day-to-day running, but there was a need for more funding, staffing, professional training, capacity building, logistics provision, improved staff salaries and regulated autonomy for it to discharge its duties more effectively.
“The agency should also do more in the monitoring of all facilities provided for rural water supply, in line with the specification and projection of the SDGs.
Akintunde-Alo added that: “This project will help in formulating plans that will guide the states and donor agencies on the right partnerships they can enter into that would ensure improved rural water supply in Ekiti and other states.
“For instance, Ekiti State with 2.3million population has a projection of 5million population ahead of 2030. So, this nine-year investment plan will guide Ekiti State on how to plan ahead.”
In his submission, the General Manager, RUWASSA, Mr. Ayo Alegbeleye, disclosed that the government of Governor Kayode Fayemi had invested over N1 billion to fund rural water supply in 2022 in partnership with donor agencies and the federal government.
“Ekiti State Government has increased water supply in rural setting and today, two local government areas with 54 towns and villages are completely open defecation-free, while efforts are on top gear to access another $700million grant from international donors,” he said.