Katsina — The prolonged water scarcity bedeviling Kankia Local Government Area and environs will soon be a thing of the past following government's resolve to construct three additional water schemes in the area to complement the existing 50, 000 gallons capacity water scheme at Rafin Shanu.
The three additional water schemes would be located at Rafin Shanu, Bakin Kasuwa and Rimaye villages. While the state government is currently constructing one at the same Rafin-Shanu area, Kankia local government on the other hand will build additional two at Rimaye and Bakin Kasuwa respectively.
When completed, the scheme at Bakin Kasuwa is expected to boost water supply to the communities of Sabuwar Duniya, Tafashiya and many other villages around, while the one at Rimaye will supply water to the community in Rimaye and other neighboring villages around it.
Until the recent development, the whole of Kankia Local Government Area has only one water scheme at Rafin-Shanu, which is inadequate to supply the quantity of water needed by the community in the local government and environs. The 50,000 Gallons capacity water scheme currently serving the LGA, has only one reservoir, an overhead tank and 10 wells where the water is being sourced for onward supply to the beneficiaries.
Weekly Trust learnt that the new water scheme has the capacity of supplying 220,000 gallons of water per day. The work has reached 90 per cent stage and is expected to be completed in May this year, according to the Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Abubakar Lawal Kaita.
The scheme comprises a 180,000 gallons capacity overhead tank, 220, 000 gallons capacity reservoir and 10 wells that could serve as source of water to the scheme. Government had also provided a new brand generating set to the scheme to supplement electricity supply by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
While the state government shouldered the responsibility for the construction and equipping the scheme, the local government on the other hand paid compensation to the owners of the land where the project was sighted and it was also responsible for the daily running of the scheme.
According to the local government's chairman, the scheme would increase the quantity of water being supplied to Kankia town and environs to 250, 000 gallons per day as against the 50, 000 gallons that is the case right now.
However, as interim measures towards addressing the problem, the local government has rehabilitated 10 existing wells and constructed 16 additional ones to boost water supply to the existing scheme at Rafin-Shanu for onward supply to Kankia town and environs pending the completion of the new project. The council had drilled about 30 boreholes at different villages across the local government.
Two additional water boosters were also purchased by the local council and installed at the old water scheme, Weekly Trust also learnt.
Alhaji Abubakar Kaita explained that the council had spent about N10m last year on the rehabilitation of boreholes, while over N17m was spent on the construction of new ones across the local government. He added that "we spent about N30m last year on various water projects ranging from construction of new boreholes and rehabilitation of existing ones."
Kaita said that the council had planned to rehabilitates 160 boreholes this year, noting that additional ones would also be drilled at various locations across the local government. "We are planning to spend over N50m on water projects this year; our aim is end water problem in Kankia local government area this year," he explained.
He said the council had rehabilitated most of the 265 collapsed boreholes in the area, adding that "we have constructed 22 Solar and Motorized boreholes across the local government last year with Gaza, Kafin-Soli villages and Kankia General Hospitals as part of the beneficiaries."
The chairman also said that the council had spent over N6m on the rehabilitation of Sukuntuni and Rimaye dams respectively, noting that the two dams were meant for irrigation farming and water supply to the communities around. He said "the council has earmarked N3m for the purchase of 100 sets of water pumps for onward distribution to farmers in the local government."
Weekly Trust observed that the two dams were dragged and new embankments were constructed at the site, while efforts are underway to clear a large scale of land for irrigation activities around the dams.
According to Kaita with the three dams in place, activities of irrigation farming in the area will receive a boost.
Currently, the federal government is rehabilitating Kankia dam at the cost of N106m. The project includes dredging of the dam, construction of an embankment and new spillways. The project is to be completed in April this year, the chairman assured.
Ba-Dole village is among the communities that benefitted from the water projects by Kankia local government. A new hand-pump borehole was constructed in the area. Communities in the area have commended the local government authority for the project, which they said had solved most of their problems associated with drinking water.
Mallam Muhammadu Abdullahi, a resident of the area told Weekly Trust that "this borehole is helping us a lot because with it, government has now brought drinking water to our door-steps. Prior to the construction of the boreholes we have to trek to long distance before we could get drinking water but the situation has changed now."
Abdullahi said most of their local wells have collapsed due to the nature of the environment they live and they could not be able to repair them but borehole survives and last for years without collapsing.
"When we were asked by the local government to choose a project, we all resolved to go for borehole so that we can end our water problem. We thanked God we have achieved our aim because we have gotten one borehole that is currently serving us with water for our daily consumption," he said.