The major problem militating against the provision of water in Oyo state is aging equipment as previous administrations made no serious efforts towards addressing the menace. Writes AGBOOLA BAYO.
In Oyo state, scarcity of potable water stands as one of the major problem facing residents in and across major towns and cities in the state, especially in Ibadan, the state capital.
The story of scarcity of potable water in places like Ibadan, Oyo town, Ogbomosho has, in the past years, unfortunately remained a recurring issue in the state with most of the past administrations failing to arrest the situation till date. For example, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) administration in the state under the leadership of the late Alhaji Lamidi Adesina between 1999 and 2003 capitalised on the efforts of the past military administrations in the state to ensure regular supply of water to some parts of the state particularly, Ibadan but this was for a while as the same administration by 2002 resolved into mandating the state water corporation into producing sachet water for sales.
The administrations of High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and that of the immediate past Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for eight years gave little or no attention to the issue of water scarcity rocking major parts of the state.
Amidst the inability of the past administration’s failure at finding a lasting solution to the water scarcity, nearly all the past administrations committed a large chunk of money to the rehabilitation of the aged water dams in Eleyele and Asejire in Ibadan, Olugbonku Dam in Oyo, among others.
As at now, investigation by Blueprint reveals that it is still an issue of complain about scarcity of water across the state which often becomes worst during the dry season when majority of those that could not afford sachet water, bore hole water resolve into patronising series of doubtful water sources available to them.
According to sources at the Oyo state Water Corporation located at the state secretariat in Ibadan, it would be unfair to put all the blames on past administrations as it was discovered that most of the administrations put up measures at making the corporation effective and efficient but the efforts were not all that were needed to actually tackle the chains of problems facing the corporation.
Blueprint learnt at the corporation’s headquarters, despite the meagre resources available to the state government due to the economic situation in the country, the immediate past administration in the state was able to carry out certain face lifting measures at some of the aged water dams and that if the present administration in the state could show more commitment, the situation would improve for the best.
Aside the state government’s efforts, Blueprint investigation further showed that there are some World Bank assisted water projects that were mid-way abandoned in Ibadan and some of the major towns in the state. For example, the hopes of residents of Eleyele, Mokola, Agodi gate and some parts of Ibadan were raised few years ago when some of the old water pipes were replaced especially in areas like Mokola, Oke Padre, Sango. These were attached to the areas to be covered by the new arrangement with the fixing of pipes into the areas but till date. no water supply to any of the areas.
Most of the community leaders in the areas expressed displeasure at the scarcity of potable water in their areas and the state in general in the past years. They are however pleading with the new administration in the state to give attention to the issue.
For instance, a community leader in Okoro area of Mokola, Prince Adeleke Awoyale in his comment lamented the prolonged scarcity of potable water in the entire Mokola area of Ibadan as well as in the entire state.
Water in state govt’s blueprint – CPS
Speaking with Blueprint on the plans of the Governor Makinde-led administration, the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, said provision of potable water to the people of Oyo state has been one of the issues in Engr Makinde’s blueprint for the state.
Mr Adisa pointed out that what the present administration in Oyo state is doing is to enhance the state water corporation for the provision of portable water as well as look into the issue of repositioning some of the water dams in the state.
The CPS stressed that as at present, a committee raised by the Engr Makinde’s administration is already working on the issue, considering the commitment of the new administration to ensure proper sanitation in the state. He said that there was no way one can talk about sanitation without having a good provision of potable water supply to the people of the state.
However, investigation shows that even with the scarcity of potable water, there is little or no cases of water borne-related diseases in any part of the state. According to sources at the state ministry of health, there has not been any reported case or cases of water borne diseases from any part of the state in the last three years.