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Over 38% Ondo residents have access to portable water supply - Aiyedatiwa

The governor added that over 1,000 boreholes have been rehabilitated in rural communities of the state.

Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa [NAN]

Aiyedatiwa asserted the commemoration of the World Water Day held in Akure, the state capital. The theme of 2024 World Water Day is Water for Peace.

The governor, represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government, Tayo Oluwatuyi, said only 4% of the populace had access to potable water before 2017. According to him, many of the water schemes across the state had become moribund and were no longer functioning before 2017.

He stated that the supply increased to 17.6% in 2020, and attributed this to the massive investment in the restoration and expansion of existing urban water infrastructure across the state.

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“Today, based on the Water Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASH NORM) survey by UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, and Federal Ministry of Water Resources, we are at above 38% and still moving forward.

“Over 1,000 boreholes have been rehabilitated in rural communities of the state.

“Presently, the state urban water sanitation project, which is co-financed by the French Development Agency (FDA) and the African Development Bank( AfDB), is working on rehabilitating the Owena Multipurpose Dam to provide water for six local government areas of the state.

“Through innovative interventions and partnerships, we are improving water infrastructure, enhancing sanitation services, and empowering communities to take ownership of their water resources,” Aiyedatiwa stated.

The governor promised that the “Ômi-Irorun” Water Policy of the government would be extended to schools where students lacked access to portable water and provision of toilets to end open defecation.

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He also assured that his government would tackle the suffering of the citizens living without access to safe water. According to him, the concerted efforts at both national and local levels would make it a reality.

Also speaking, Sunday Akinwalire, the state Commissioner for Water Resources, Public Sanitation, and Hygiene, said that the commemoration of World Water Day was to attract attention to the global water crisis.

Akinwalire said that the day should have been observed since March 22, but the state could not hold it then due to some circumstances beyond her control. The commissioner said that the Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa-led administration had provided boreholes in several communities in the state under the Omiirorun Accelerated Water Scheme.

Akinwalire noted that the state had paid over ₦1 billion as a counterpart fund to rehabilitate the Owena Multipurpose dam by FDB and AfDB. He said that the governor had directed the ministry to make safe water accessible to the 18 local government areas of the state.

The commissioner appealed to people in the state to join hands with the government and reflect on the complex relationship between water, conflict, and cooperation.

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“We have our roles to play because peace is a basic human ambition that calls for constant dedication and work from all and sundry.

“Every means of ensuring access to potable water provided by the government should be treasured and not misused,” he stated.

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