From: Ali Abare, Gombe
The Gombe State Water Board said it expended N1 billion annually on servicing the treatment plant located in Dadin-Kowa, which is the major source of drinking water in the state.
General Manager of the board, Engineer Isa Mohammed, disclosed on Wednesday, in a chat with journalists, as part of activities marking the World Water Day.
Engineer Isa explained that there is need to reduce this burden on government by consumers through the prompt payment of water rates, considering the prevailing economic situation in the country.
He added that the World Bank urban water reform scheme ongoing in the state demands that consumers contribute their quota by paying water rates promptly to reduce the burden of running the treatment plant by government.
He disclosed that the Dadin-Kowa water scheme designed to supply fifty thousand cubic metres of fresh drinking water daily for 300, 000 people has been overstretched to now supply nearly 800, 000 people as a result of the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from states experiencing Boko Haram insurgency.
The general manager however said the state is meeting the challenges as according to him, the Mallam Inna water scheme, which broke down for some period, has been fully rehabilitated and is expected to add to the water supply in the state.
He decried the attitude of consumers who refuse to pay their water rates, stressing that with the new revenue drive by the state government, the board is set to enforce due payment of water rates.
“In some states that we visited, like Kano, they are making N100 million monthly from water rates, Lagos as well as Kaduna are all making huge sums monthly from water rates,” he said.