Kayode Fayemi, the current governor of Ekiti State, has on Thursday declared emergency in the water sector to ensure water supply to all nooks and crannies in Ekiti State.
The governor, made the declaration in Ikun Ekiti, Moba Local Government Area of the state where he had gone to kick-start the turn around water rehabilitation project at Ero Dam to supply water to many major towns in Ekiti.
The News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] reports that the governor consequently promised to take legal and institutional steps to also make the state open defecation free before 2030.
He also disclosed that it was in a bid to reduce the level of water borne diseases in Ekiti and make the commodity available to residents that he declared the emergency in water sector.
He also said, the people must be saved from preventable illnesses through provision of potable water.
He clarified that the emergency was in line with the step taken by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Pres. Buhari had initiated similar policy under a programme called Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in partnership with the world bank.
NAN reports that the project, which will gulp 55 million dollars, was awarded to Sagittarius Henan Engineering and is to be completed within 18 months.
Fayemi also said the WASH programme of the Federal Government and world bank was initiated to reduce amount being paid by Nigerians on hospital bills after contacting all forms of diseases from unhygienic water sources.
He said statistics had shown that water supply to urban cities and rural areas in the country had reduced by 15 and four percent respectively, in spite of geometric increase in the population.
The governor added that the state had already paid N700 million counterpart fund to complete the project that was approved by the world bank in 2014.
“It was because of the safety of the citizens that the Federal Government declared emergency in WASH. So, Ekiti has keyed into the programme with this project.
“Ekiti was ranked second in Nigeria as a state that practised open defecation. We shall put up institutional and legal frameworks to ensure Ekiti is open defecation free before 2030.
“Part of what accounted for this high practice was because of low water supply to our homes.
“We are making our traditional rulers as champions that would canvass for open defecation-free and if we are going to stop our palaces from digging boreholes here and there, we as government should provide water to our people.
“We have done our feasibility studies, 85 percent of our water in Ekiti shall be provided by Ero and Egbe dams if they operate at optimal capacity,” he added.