Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, on Thursday commissioned a N6.5billion Ilorin metropolitan water project.
Speaking at the event, Governor Ahmed said successive administrations from the inception of the state in 1967 had effected many interventions aimed at improving water supply in the state capital and indeed the entire state, adding that those efforts, however, did not yield more than four million gallons per day up till 2003.
Ahmed, who said that previous Bukola Saraki’s administration implemented the first phase of the project which was partly financed under the N17 billion bond facility obtained by the state government in 2009, added that further efforts geared towards improving the supply between 2003 to 2008 raised the production to 25.5 million gallons per day.
He said the Ilorin Water Distribution Network was implemented at the cost of N6.5billion, adding that it was funded partly through the N17billion bond, a commercial bank facility and the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund (IFK).
The governor also said that the ever-increasing expansion of Ilorin metropolis and its attendant population increase has made upgrade of Asa Dam waterworks and the distribution network imperative, adding that the project, comprising the Rising Mains, and Principal Distribution Network, was flagged-off in 2009.
“With the completion of this phase, it is safe to say that we have recorded significant milestones in our effort to ensure that every resident has access to water within a 500-meter radius. This project also takes us closer to achieving one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 6 which aims to achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by the year 2030.
“With today’s commissioning, 48,000 homes located along the following routes will now enjoy clean and affordable water. The routes are Eastern Reservoir to Oja Oba, Eastern Reservoir to Taiwo Road, Western Reservoir to Sobi, Maraba to A Division, and Baboko Market to Abdulazeez Attah Road.
“Others are Taiwo Isale to St. John Church, Government High School to Abdulazeez Attah Road, Oja Oba to Oloje, Abdulazeez Attah to Taiwo Isale, Basin Road to Mayode Hotel and Umaru Audi to Jebba Road.
“Additionally, this network is supplemented with standpipes at 130 different locations across Ilorin Metropolis.
“Furthermore, arrangements are at advanced stages to award the contract for 310km Tertiary Reticulation Network which will expand the Water Supply coverage in Ilorin to 105,000 households.
“Indeed, my administration has worked hard to reduce water supply accessibility and availability gaps in the state through infrastructure provision and renewal.
“The projects implemented under this scheme include waterworks in Share/Tsaragi, Oyun, Obbo Aiyegunle, Elesinmeta, Pepele, Zambufu, Gbugbu and several others across the state,” the governor said.
Ahmed however reiterated the determination of the state government to expand water supply to more homes in Ilorin metropolis and across the state.
It will be recalled that residents of the state capital had faced water supply challenge for many years until recent efforts of the present administration to address the situation in parts of the state.