Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
After ranking as the number one country in open defecation, Nigeria again ranks as the poorest in the provision of potable water supply to its citizens.
The Managing Director of Taraba Water and Sewerage Corporation (TAWASCO) Mr Buba Siam, disclosed this at a Knowledge Cafe (Mu-Gana) quarterly meeting between TAWASCO, E-WASH and CSOs involved in the E-WASH projects in the state.
Siam said that despite efforts by the Corporation to ensure adequate water supply to citizens of the state, a lack of adequate funding has continued to militate against achieving the objective.
He regretted that despite abundant water resources, Nigerians still do not have potable water due largely to government negligence and a lack of political will.
“It is so sad that we live in an environment that is suffering serious degradation due to human activities,” Siam said.
“Sanitation has become a global issue of serious concern. Regrettably, despite abundant water resources, most Nigerians still do not have potable water on their tables.
“Nigeria is ranked poorest in terms of water supply to her citizens in the whole of Africa.
“In Taraba State, despite our conscious efforts, we have not been able to meet the water demands of our customers.
“Water supply and sanitation are capital intensive and without adequate funding, there is little the utility companies can do,” he said.
Civil society organisations who spoke at the meeting noted that there are still a lot of households in the state capital that are not yet connected to water supply channels and regretted the preference for open defecation by most people especially in the rural areas and the lack of toilet facilities in public spaces.
The Taraba State Government recently signed into law a bill that has made the state’s water agency a full corporation for better service delivery and profitability.