It was a mission accomplished which no doubt, got Dr Bukola Saraki, a former Kwara State governor and the incumbent governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed in a good mood. The reticulation project that was initiated and kick- started by the Dr Bukola Saraki’s administration which was later sustained and continued by the Alhaji Abdulfattah Ahmed’s administration has been completed and it was commissioned for the use of the people a few days ago.
‘I am, therefore, delighted to join you today, not just to commission this project but also to celebrate the coming to fruition of the vision after a decade of relentless efforts by the Kwara State Government’, Gov. Ahmed stated. Chronicling the efforts and the steps that culminated into the achievement recorded on Thursday, Ahmed, submitted that the previous 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 and that as a government of continuity that believes in the vision behind the project, it was continued and that the primary and the secondary reticulation has been taken to completion stage.
Strolling down the memory lane, the governor explained why the steps taken by the state government regarding the reticulation project became inevitable and necessary. ‘Successive administrations from the inception of the state in 1967 have effected many interventions aimed at improving water supply in the state capital and indeed the entire state. These efforts, did not however, yield more than 4 million gallons per day up till 2003. Further efforts geared towards improving the supply between 2003 and 2008 raised the production to 25.5 million gallons per day. The said intervention brought about the challenges of enormous increase to high and low lift pumping capacities of Asa Dam Water Works.
The ever-increasing expansion of Ilorin Metropolis and its attendant population increase, therefore, made the upgrade of Asa Dam waterworks and the distribution network imperative. It was to this effect that this project, comprising the Rising Mains, and Principal Distribution Network, was flagged-off in 2009. Currently, 39.94km new transmission mains, 44km of the main distribution network, and 26.75km of the secondary and tertiary distribution network. Others are a 10,000 cubic meter concrete circular tank at Oloje, a 570 cubic meter elevated tank at Oja-Oba, the connection to 5,000 cubic meter tank at Oke-Ose and two booster stations’ he said. With the commissioning of the project, the government agenda and mission to ensure that every resident has access to drinkable water within a 500-meter radius has been made easy. ‘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 the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) no. 6 which aims to achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by the year 2030. The Ilorin Water Distribution Network was implemented at the cost of N6.5b, funded partly through the N17b bond, a commercial bank facility and the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund (IFK). 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’, he submitted. Gov. Ahmed, however, made it clear that he would not relent or rest on his oars as other strategies are being marshaled out and that fresh steps are being taken to ease things for the people in respect of water needs. He noted that arrangements are at advanced stages to award the contract for the 310km Tertiary Reticulation Network which will expand the Water Supply coverage in Ilorin to 105,000 household. The government, has also, according to him, taken steps towards addressing water supply accessibility and availability gaps in the state through infrastructure provision and renewal, among the projects implemented under the scheme include; the waterworks in Share/Tsaragi, Oyun, Obbo Aiyegunle, Elesinmeta, Pepele, Zambufu, Gbugbu and several others across the state. Global Excellence gathered that among the dignitaries at the event was the PDP guber candidate, Alhaji Razak Atunwa who joined the governor in commissioning the water project.