Nasarawa State Government said it had spent over N3 billion on the construction and rehabilitation of water supply schemes in the state in the last six years.
The State’s Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Mr Abdulkarim Kana, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Lafia that the amount was an indication of the state government’s commitment to providing portable drinking water to the populace.
According to Kana, government has rehabilitated the Mada water works supplying water to over 30 per cent of the state population resident in Akwanga, Kokona and Keffi local government areas at the cost of over N1.2 billion.
He added that the Nasarawa water supply project being constructed at over N1.5 billion, had reached 80 per cent completion and would go a long way to reducing the perennial water shortage in the area.
Kana also said that the over N300 million water scheme would soon be completed as work had reached 80 per cent.
On Lafia water scheme, the commissioner said the contract for the dredging of river ‘Amba’ to increase the volume water was 95 per cent completed.
“The dredging of the Amba River, which is the only source of water to Lafia is imminent because it became silted due to human activities over a long period.
“The water works was built in 1984 and the only way to save it from total lock down is to dredge the river to enable the water work get enough supply.
“Substantial amount of debris have been evacuated from the river such that there will be no problem of silt for the next 10 years and we have adequate supply of water to Lafia water works to meet the needs of residents,” Kana said.
He said that the electricity component of the water works has also been rehabilitated with new step-up transformer that would allow the scheme to depend on the national grid rather than diesel powered generators.
“This will go a long way to increase our production hours because our generator use one drum of diesel per hour and we needed to pump for 12 hours to meet the need of Lafia and environs, which is very expensive.
“However, with the completion of the electricity component of the water works, we depend solely on the national grid; each time we want to pump water, we notify the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to ensure electricity supply to the works,” Kana said.
He disclosed that government has commenced the process of damming the Kurikyo River to serve as an alternative source of water supply to Lafia.
Kana said that Gov. Umaru Al-Makura had directed the ministry to commission a project that would serve an alternative source of water supply to the city.
“Our experts discovered river Kurikyo traversing through the back of the proposed new GRA, High Court and the State Assembly, hoping that it will be sufficient to provide an alternative water source to the people.
“We have been taking data for the last 10 months with a view to ascertaining the behavior of the river to see whether it can withstand the dry season.
“We are yet to make a final decision on damming the river since the analysis on the volume of water is on-going, however, we were able to establish that the water is suitable for drinking and domestic use,” Kana added.