Provisions for Water, Sanitation in Kogi State 2017 Budget Has Not Been Implemented – JDPC

The Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), a non governmental Organisation of the Catholic  Church has observed that the provisions for water, sanitation and hygiene in the Kogi State 2017 budget have not been implemented for the benefit of the people.
The JDPC which made the observation in a press release circulated among media houses in Lokoja on Tuesday said that the  observation was made by  the monitoring and evaluation unit of its social accountability project which started in the state in 2016.
Rev. Fr. Leonard Odomeja, the Director of JDPC, Catholic Church, Lokoja Diocese signed the statement 
The JDPC, Lokoja Catholic Church Diocese, had in 2016 commenced the implementation of a social accountability project; Increasing Citizens Participation and Inclusive Governance for Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Kogi State.
The social project aims at promoting citizens’ and community participation in the governance structure of Kogi state; mobilizing citizens/communities to dialogue with the duty bearers (government) to solicit for improved supply of water to the people and create awareness and advocate for behavioural change on sanitary and hygiene practices.
The project is being implemented in 13 communities spread across the three senatorial districts of the state. The communities include Ege, Idoji, Kuroko, Adogo and Obangede in Kogi Central senatorial district and Adankolo, Felele, Banda, Kabbawa and Sarki Nnoma in Kogi West senatorial district.
Others are Agaliga, Idah, Anyigba, Ankpa and Ejule in Kogi East senatorial district.
However, it stated that the 2017 budget provisions of  N300 million earmarked for the expansion and improve the of township water supply schemes and  N450 million allocated for the construction of urban towns and local government headquarters water schemes were yet to be implemented.
It also stated that the N144. 747 million  set aside in the budget for water schemes in some communities including, Ege, Idoji, Obangede, and Adogo among others was yet to become a reality.
Despite N800 million provided for water project schemes, several communities in the  like Anyigba, Ejule, Idah, Agaliga lack access to portable water, the statement said.
“Also, despite the claimed rehabilitation of the old water works in Lokoja and the N500 million allocated to the Greater Lokoja water supply scheme phase II, JDPC discovered that several communities within Lokoja town experience lack of water supply,” the statement said.
It said that although, the ministry of rural development allocated N1.2 billion for the provision of 500 boreholes, several rural communities in the state still lack access  to water supply.
The Organisation called on the duty bearers so show more commitment in arresting water deficits currently being experienced in many parts of  Kogi State, including Lokoja the state capital.
It said that the  claim by the Ministry of Water Resources that  it has rehabilitated/ constructed 23 water projects cannot be verified as its team cannot see the projects in any of the communities mentioned as beneficiaries.
The group expressed delight over what it called a slight improvement in water supply to communities like Adankolo, Kabawa, Obangede and Ankpa.
According to the statement, a significant improvement has been recorded in  sanitation and hygiene particularly in Lokoja due to efforts of youths and other volunteers’ participation in sanitation exercises.
“Through our intervention, communities are gaining the consciousness of demanding for improved service delivery from the duty bearers through responsible and constructive means,” the statement said.