By: Wisdom Acka
The FCT Administration has expressed its commitment to providing equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in the Territory.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani-Aliyu, gave this assurance while inaugurating Solar-Powered Water Scheme to mark the 2023 World Water Day in Abuja.
The Minister said that the Administration will also work towards strengthening community-led approaches to total sanitation.
Tijjani-Aliyu also encouraged stakeholders to join hands with the FCTA to accelerate change in improving access to safe drinking water in the Territory.
Represented by the Secretary, Area Council Services Secretariat, Ibrahim Abubakar Dantsoho, the Minister revealed that the FCTA has constructed 188 hand pump borehole water supply schemes, 6 motorised solar-powered borehole water schemes and rehabilitated 30 rural water supply schemes, culminating in improving access to safe drinking water for about 50,000 residents.
She reiterated that the World Water Day was about taking action to tackle the global water crisis of about 2.2 billion people living without access to safe drinking water; stressing that the 2023 World Water Day is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.
While appreciating the partnership with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, development partners such as UNICEF, USAID, WaterAid Nigeria, DFID, Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Minister of State pledged the readiness of the Administration in supporting and encouraging collaboration and partnership in the provision of safe drinking water in rural communities.
Her words: “Sustainability of both the private and public water sources is significant in the service delivery sector of the FCT.”
“In this respect, I urge the good people of Abuja to embrace the clarion call for behavioural change to safely manage and conserve the available water resources for the current and future generations,” she added.
Tijjani-Aliyu, however, lamented that millions of people and countless schools, businesses, healthcare centres, farms and industries are being held back because their human rights to water and sanitation still need to be fulfilled, just as she called for an urgent need to accelerate change— to go beyond “business as usual.”
“The recent data (WASH-NORM) shows that governments must work on an average of five times faster to meet the SDG-6 on time, but this is not a situation that any single actor or group can solve. Water affects everyone, so, we need everyone to “be the change” and take action,” she stressed.
Speaking in the same vein, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, who was represented by the Director of Administration and Finance, Mr. Abdulrasaq Leramoh, advocated for positive impacts in accessibility to safe drinking water in rural communities.
He called on the benefiting communities to take ownership of these facilities and ensure their smooth operation, management and sustainability.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director FCT Rural Water Supply, and Sanitation Agency, Dr. Mohammed Ali Dan-Hassan, identified water as an essential component of life that is critical to the family unit, the community, local government, state and federal levels.
He expressed the confidence that the Agency has reached about 60 percent of coverage of rural communities; adding that in the next one or two years, the Agency would hit 90 to 95 percent coverage of water supply.
“We are exploiting the ground water resource, because the pipe bone network has not reached those areas yet,” he emphasized.
It may be recalled that the commemoration of World Water Day (March 22) began in 1993, to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the water and sanitation crisis.
High point of the event was the inauguration of Solar-Powered Water Scheme at Pyakasa in Abuja Municipal Area Council.