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Kwara: Multi-billion naira water project rots away after commissioning



Last Updated on June 8, 2024 by Fellow Press

On December 11, 2022, the people of Patigi local government area of Kwara State were engulfed with excitement over the commissioning of the Patigi water supply project.

The project, which was handed over to the Kwara State government after it was commissioned, can deliver 5 million litres per day.

While commissioning the project, the former Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said the project would supply water to over 200,000 residents in Patigi town and neighboring communities.

According to him, the quality of the treated water from the scheme has been subjected to laboratory tests and established to be within national and international standards for drinking water.

The Minister said that the Contractor has trained the operational staff of the Kwara State Water Board on various aspects of running the scheme for the benefit of the teeming Patigi population.

He added that the water scheme has over 35 kilometres of distribution network pipelines with about 32 fetching points distributed within the network, among other components.

Adamu, who expressed satisfaction over the execution and completion of the Project, which was delivered in June 2022, urged the Kwara State government to ensure proper management and maintenance of the Water Supply Project through its Water Board to provide long-term service to the people.

According to the Ministry, some of the modern facilities attached to the project include the Raw Water Intake Building comprising 3 Nos. Low lift Pumps, control panels, and a Mobile Crane for maintenance; and a Conventional treatment plant with a capacity of 5 million liters/day comprising an Aeration tank.

Others include a Sedimentation tank and Filtration Gallery; a Chemical building consisting of chemical dosing and mixing machines and a chlorination injection system; a 5 million liters capacity ground clear water concrete storage tank and a 100,000 liters overhead tank on 6 6-meter height stanchion at the head works.

The Minister explained that the project was executed in two phases; the 1st phase of the project was awarded to Messrs Gilmor Engineering Ltd, and Messrs Yemaq Group Ltd as the Supervising Consultant in December 2012 with about 45 percent completion rate in 2014.

He added that in order to move the project forward, the second phase was awarded to Messrs CGC Nigeria Ltd in 2019 with Messrs Qiblat Associates as the Supervising Consultant with a completion period of 24 months.

However, about 18 months after the ministry commissioned the water project, it is yet to serve the community. Residents continue to lament the scarcity of water as the project fails to function.

Residents still get water from stream: Youth Union

Muhammed Usman is the Secretary of the Patigi Youth Emirate. While reacting to the issue of water scarcity in the community, he stated that the people of Patigi are suffering from the lack of potable water despite their closeness to the River Niger.

“We are facing serious challenges due to the lack of water in this community. It has affected a lot of things,” he said.

Usman, who noted that it’s more frustrating to see some government projects not delivering water as promised, said that some of the residents rely on what people with personal boreholes give to them, which are most often not enough.

“I normally buy six to seven liters of fuel every day to supply water to people living within my area here and I don’t take any money from them – I take it as part of my effort to the community – about 20 households get water from my borehole to survive and meet their needs,” he said.

He added that some of the residents still fetch water from the stream despite the accompanied threat of waterborne diseases.

“There are several people who are still fetching and drinking the water from the stream. They used to go as early as 4:30 am so that they would be able to fetch sometimes – and they would still have to put alum to make it drinkable,” he said.

Another resident, Umar Bologi claimed that he normally fetched from the stream to serve his family. He lamented how both the federal and state government water projects have failed to deliver for the community.

“I used to fetch from the stream. This is the water we have been drinking and using all this while. None of the waterworks in this community are working,” Bologi said.

‘We buy water, project not fully completed’

Muhammed Usman argued that the Patigi water supply project is not yet fully completed as no one has ever benefited from it.

“They have not channeled the water into the town properly. They only opened the water to ensure that it could go through. Nobody has ever fetched a cup of water from it,” he said.

While also claiming that the contractor who constructed the project is yet to complete it, he said there is no end in sight as to when the project will be delivered to the community as no work is currently ongoing on the project.

“The project is still under the control of the contractor and there is no work going on there as we speak,” he said.

As observed by this reporter, Usman said that some of the water delivery points created for the project are yet to be completed.

Usman’s claim was corroborated by Sukari Alhaji who said the project was only commissioned but was not test-run.

“They only commissioned it but they didn’t test-run it. Some of the pipes they laid for the delivery of the water into the town are even faulty and if the water supply should work today, the pipes would be leaking,” he said.

Alhaji recalled that due to the issue of lack of electricity which was raised by community leaders during the commissioning, the Minister also promised that a solar system would be implemented to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the facility in 2023, this, according to him, has never materialized.

Meanwhile, both Usman and Sukari noted that the community leaders and stakeholders had made several efforts in a bid to make the water project supply work but all to no avail.

“The Etsu of Patigi and other community leaders visited the Federal Ministry of Water Resources last year on the issue but we are still yet to see positive changes,” Sukari said.

During a visit to the site of the Patigi Water Supply Project by this reporter, it was observed that the site was desolated and no activities were going on there. The place was already being taken over by the bush.

‘117,000 children die in Nigeria annually due to water-related illnesses’

According to the Nigerian Institute of Water Engineers (NIWE), about 179 million Nigerians do not have access to safely managed drinking water services.

The body, while adding that about 67% of the Nigerian population does not have access to basic water supply, stated that about two-thirds of the country’s population use drinking water supplies contaminated by thermotolerant coliform at the point of collection.

It also lamented that about 79% of waterworks in Nigeria were either non-functional partially functional or completely moribund

In 2022, UNICEF says 70% of water at the point of consumption is contaminated and children are the most affected in Nigeria.

As a result, the body says 117,000 children die in Nigeria each year due to water-related illnesses – the highest number of any nation.

In 2023, A UNICEF analysis puts 78 million children in Nigeria at the highest risk from a convergence of three water-related threats – inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); related diseases; and climate hazards.

Lack of electricity affecting operation of the facility: Kwara govt

When contacted to get his reaction, the Kwara State Commissioner for Water Resources, Yunusa Lade, claimed that the lack of electricity has hindered the operation of the multibillion naira water supply project.

“Lack of electricity is the reason why the project is not working,” responded the commissioner.

He, however, refused to comment when asked whether the Kwara State Ministry had communicated the present status of the project to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation over the non-functioning status of the project, proved unsuccessful.

This report is produced with support from Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), under the CMEDIA Project.


Nollywood actress, Stella Ikwuegbu, dies



Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Nigerian Movie Industry has once again been thrown into mourning following the demise of another actress, Sandra Ikwuegbu.

The Veteran Actress is said to have died today, June 16, after a battling with leg cancer,

Her colleagues in the industry have taken to social media to mourn her. Movie Producer, Stanley Ontop , wrote;

‘’Popular Nollywood actress/veteran Mrs stella ikwuegbu is dead.

The Veteran Actress left this world today after battling with Leg cancer. Rest well madam Stella.

Nollywood not again

It’s well


Another colleague of hers, Ijele Ozioma Christy Ejiofor, who paid a visit to the late actress’s home this afternoon, wrote

‘’Ukwu Gi Dia. Why? You scaled through several, accident s and all. Eniure/Achiere came, and in less than a week, it killed you. Oh my… I feel bad.

Stella Ikwuegbu, nenu Jennifer, you didn’t enjoy a thing. Why? Just why?

Adieu Great Actress Extraordinary…”

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Food shortage in Southwest will be calamitous– Yoruba Group



Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

A Yoruba socio-political group, Yoruba Commitment Forum (YCF) has raised an alarm about the looming food shortage in the South West region of the country.

The group said, though, the impending food insecurity is a national crisis, stressing that its impact on Yorubaland is going to be calamitous.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Otunba Hon Tayo Onayemi, Barr. Akeem Aponmade, Barr. Femi Mokikan, Otunba Niyi Sodiya, Mrs. Buky Tunde Oshunrinde and Mrs. Sola Maja, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The YCF attributed the looming food shortage to the invasion and destruction of farmlands by rampaging Fulani herders.

The group, while calling for adequate security of farmers and their farmlands, equally appealed to the federal government to adequately compensate whose farmlands were destroyed and as well give them financial incentives, to encourage them to go back to farm.

The statement titled, “Nigeria’s headaches, food insecurity in Yorubaland”, read, “we have observed that for about seven years now, Fulani herdsmen have been engaging in a relentless destruction of farmlands and settlements in Yorubaland. These criminal Fulani elements resorted to kidnapping, raping, maiming and killing of farmers and Yoruba sons and daughters.

“Neither the governments at any level, nor Fulani herdsmen’s apologists would claim ignorance of the atrocious activities of these ruthless people. Video recordings of their wicked actions suffuse the internet. The end result is that farmers began to be scared off their farms gradually until now when farms have been completely abandoned.

“When this started years ago, foresighted individuals raised concerns; they warned about the potential danger of food insecurity beginning with rising food prices and the need to ensure a stable food supply. It appears that Southwest was deliberately targeted and the invasion of our farmlands was the execution of a conscious plan to starve our people to death.

“We, the Yoruba Nation agitators, cried out for help against the brazen onslaught, but none came from the federal government led by a Fulani man.

“Unfortunately, the hens have now come home to roost as the consequences of our action, and inaction, are now here for real with food shortages and very high prices making it increasingly difficult for our people to access the basic necessity of food.

“Before the current situation spirals out of control, we hasten to inform the government that there is no alternative to large scale farming which Fulani herdsmen have destroyed by waging a war against farmers. Subsistence farming through the backyards, as good as it is, cannot serve the purpose of assuring any people of food security. Farmlands in the South West must be made very safe.

“We state emphatically that the situation whereby a basket of tomatoes is sold for #4000 in the North while the same is sold in Yorubaland for #150,000 is callous, ruthless and unacceptable to us.

We also call for assistance to use cheaper rail transport among others to assist our market men and women. Other regions do this, why not here in Yorubaland?

“Secondly, governments must incentivise farmers whose investments have been destroyed during the war of attrition waged against them by Fulani terrorists. Without government’s financial assistance, there is no way most farmers will be able to go back to farming, even if security of their lives and new investments are assured”, the statement concluded.

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