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Monday, January 23, 2017

Bayelsa votes N1.2bn for accessible water in 200 communities

The Bayelsa State government, has voted the sum of N1.2 billion for establishment of access water in some 200 communities, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Disclosing this Friday, the governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, expressed optimism that all communities in the State would get access to water in the next three years.

"In Bayelsa State, there is water, water everywhere but none to drink. We rarely have water to drink and some of the water are in salt water area. We need to desalinate it. So, out of a number of communities that really have that challenge, government selected some land locked communities to provide water and we have done that already.

"Our partners have selected 200 communities in Bayelsa State, principally in two Local Government Areas to provide a lot of things. We appreciate our partners, World Bank, EU and UNICEF who are contributing about N700 million and the State government is putting N422 million. In other words, we are actually bearing the cost of about 35 per cent of the project. But the key issue is not what they are providing, I am more interested in their technical expertise that they are bringing to the table. But I have told them that they need to expand it because I want more communities to benefit.

"The provision of portable water for people is our priority. I want to ensure that every community in Bayesla State have water in the next three years. We will look for the resources and work with them. We will also tap on their expertise. I told them that I will be willing if they can create another counterpart funding for even this year."

While acknowledging the fact that States are finding it difficult to meet the contributions, the governor said that Bayelsa State would "be willing to look for money to start another one so that again a minimum of 200 or 250 more communities again can benefit."

"I want to ensure that within the next three years, every community, no matter how small, should have access to some safe drinking water because sometimes the situation they manage is very bad.

"The people drink water from stagnant pools and get infected. We have cases of perennial cholera and drainages with pollution along water ways. There are a lot of things going on and that is why we are very committed to that and we appreciate the partnership", he emphasised.

Dickson called on community leaders to work with the contractors and protect these facilities by putting it on good use.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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