Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Nasarawa's 2013 Budget to Expand Water Supply

Lafia — Much of the N2.9 billion earmarked for expenditure in the water supply and rural development subsector of Nasarawa State, will be implemented to extend water supply to areas considered critical because of population size, as well as to expand on existing ones.

"This year, we are going to extend water supply to many towns by constructing water schemes there. If our budgetary provision gets the approval of the legislature, we will also be expanding on existing water supply schemes in some parts of the state, where population growth has put much pressures on the existing facilities," Commissioner for Water Resources, Sam Alu, told Daily Trust yesterday on phone.

He named the new areas to get the schemes to include Dedere to supply the town and much of its environs in Obi Local Government Area; and Uke to supply its environs including Auta Balefi, Karu and Mararaba in Karu Local Government Area.

Alu said the planned expansion programme will benefit Nassarawa-Eggon and Lafia, where collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources will see to linking water from Doma Dam, to the state capital to take care of the growing need there.

Rehabilitation of some ailing water schemes will also come with the implementation of this year's budget, the commissioner said, and named Mada Water Works, serving Akwanga through Garaku, to Keffi and environs; and Toto Water Works, serving Toto town and environs.

Mada Water Works, constructed along Rafin Gudi in Akwanga Local Government Area, with financial support from African Development Bank (ADB), was commissioned by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, on Wednesday, May 22, 1996, four months to the creation of Nasarawa State from the old Plateau State.

The water scheme supplies Akwanga, Gudi, Garaku, Sabon Gida and Keffi, as well as other communities along the federal road.

It last functioned during the administration of Abdullahi Adamu, Nasarawa's first civilian governor, as supply began to dwindle during his successor's (Doma) administration, compelling students of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) to pour into the streets, several times, in protest.

The commissioner said the facility is ailing, and needs fullscale maintenance to strengthen supply. This is just as he said the ministry will continue with the pursuit of water supply from Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to Mararaba area of the state, within the fiscal year.

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