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Water: Will Sambo formula lead to a gush?

“Since I joined this school four years ago I have been sourcing water before going to school daily. I woke up every working day at…

“Since I joined this school four years ago I have been sourcing water before going to school daily. I woke up every working day at 5.am but I will not get to my school until around 9.30 am, two hours after the resumption time. I am very famous among my school mates, as a late comer. No thank you to this problem of water supply,’’ Danladi, who resides with his parent in Nassarawa, a suburb in the state metropolis, said.

“We, in Kakuri are somehow lucky compared to people in some areas of the state as water supply in our area is almost constant. Water board is rotating water supply the way PHCN is rationaliSing power supply,’’ a 35 years old resident of Kakuri in Kaduna South local government, Ikena Pius,  responded to question on water supply situation in their community.

The history of potable water supply in Kaduna town dates back to 1929 when the first Water Treatment Plant with the capacity to produce 27 million litres of water daily (MLD) was commissioned.  As the population of the town grew, demand for potable water continued to increase, leading to the construction and commissioning of the second Water Treatment Plant at Malali, with an installation capacity of 90 mld in 1972.

Over the years, Kaduna town continued to record a rapid increase in population, with corresponding increase in demand for potable water. This necessitated the construction and commissioning of the largest Water Treatment Plant in the country, of 150mld in the year 1987.  From the foregoing, it is glaring that the three water works with the total installation capacity of 267mld have been in operation for decades. Consequently, their efficiency continued to drop, leading to water shortages in parts of the metropolis.

According to the General Manager of the state water board, Engineer Hassan Mohammed, the deteriorating state of the water works in the metropolis was compounded by the incidents of August 2006 and 2007, when fire damaged some electrical equipment at the High lift Pumping Station of Kaduna North New Water Works, Malali.

“However, the state government remained resolute to restoring the water works to their designed capacities by not only replacing the damaged equipment but a complete rehabilitation of the water works. To achieve all these, a number of equipment have been procured and successfully installed.

Like in Kaduna state metropolis, the supply of potable water to the inhabitants of Zaria city and environs has been inadequate as far back as 1994 due to expanding population and inadequate capacity of existing Water Treatment Plants. Presently, water demand in the ancient city is estimated at 129 million litres per day, while installed capacity of the two existing 10mld and 50mld Zaria water treatment Plants built in 1939 and 1975 respectively stood at 60 million litres per day. Supply of potable water to Zaria metropolis is the major problem of Kaduna State Government.

The existing source of raw water is from Shika Dam, which has a Gross Storage Capacity of 15.9million cubic meters (mcm). This is grossly inadequate to provide raw water for the inhabitants of Zaria city and environs. The magnitude of the problem, according to the General Manager, has made Kaduna State Government to enter into collaboration with the Federal Government to overcome the acute water shortage through the provision of necessary infrastructure. The solution to the problem on a permanent basis is through the construction of new infrastructure that requires huge capital outlay.

Speaking during the commissioning of a water supply improvement works he donated to the Nigerian Air force Base, Governor Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said the provision of potable water to the people of the state had been one of the top priority of his administration.

“We have made the provision of potable water supply one of our cardinal objectives for the obvious reason that no meaningful development could be achieved where potable water supply to the people continues to be a mirage. We are, therefore, aware that as a people, our socio-economic development depends to a great extent on the provision of regular and reliable water supply. That explains why we have remained resolute in the execution of numerous water projects in virtually all parts of Kaduna State.

The governor listed the projects he embarked upon in the area of water to include, the ongoing National Urban Water Sector Reform Project, aimed at increasing quality and coverage of water supply in the towns of Kaduna, Zaria, Kafanchan, Kagoro, Zonkwa and Saminaka. The New Zaria Regional Water Scheme flagged off on the 13th of May 2009 with a completion period of 36 months will not only serve Zaria Local Government but Sabon Gari, Giwa, Kudan, Soba and Kubau Local Governments as well. The Kachia water supply project abandoned for more than a decade is being revived with the award of contract for Engineering Design Review underway.

 Commenting on the prevailing poverty among the citizenry, he reiterated the commitment of his administration to eradicate poverty is total, hence the execution of projects that impact positively on all facets of human existence remain our policy thrust.