Ondo State governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, yesterday sought the support of the Federal Government and donor agencies for the provision of potable water to the people.
He said the importance of water in the life of the people cannot be quantified, adding that this is why his administration made adequate provision of healthy and drinkable water one of its priorities.
Akeredolu, who spoke at the 24th regular meeting of the National Council on Water Resources in Akure, lamented that lack of access to potable water by the people of the rural areas had become a source of concern to his administration.
The governor said: “Lack of access to potable water is the cry of the people and this makes them resort to individual or private sources some of which are not hygienic to human system.
“I am made to understand that the Federal Government is saddled with the construction of dams and making raw materials available. This is a good policy which I want to plead to be fully extended to Ondo State.
“At the moment, most of our major urban water supply schemes, some of which were inherited from the defunct Western Nigeria, have become old and inadequate in their capacities to meet the ever increasing population and water demand. Some of the dams have virtually collapsed while others are in terrible state of disrepair.”
Akeredolu specifically stated that the existing Owena, Ondo Water Supply Scheme could no longer provide potable water to Akure, Ondo, Ile-Oluji and Idanre because the dam had collapsed.
He said: “Similarly, Ose Dam, which was constructed in 1961, has problems of heavy siltation and leakage and can no longer supply water to Owo and the surrounding villages.”
While stating the steps already taken to address the problem of water shortage, the governor said his administration had proposed new urban water projects namely Awara/Oyinmo Water Supply Project at Ikare to supply four local government areas in Akoko land and River Oluwa Water Supply Project in Okitipupa to serve Okitipupa and Odigbo local government areas of the state.
Akeredolu therefore urged experts in water supply industry, donor agencies, academicians and investors, among others to collaborate with his administration’s efforts aimed at improving water supply to the rural populace.