JDPC: Residents Task Govt on Improved Water Supply, Sanitation in Kogi State

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Residents of Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, have called on the state government to improve on its social services as there is significant decline in water supply in the town.

Representatives of different communities in Lokoja made this known during a town hall meeting organised by the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) in Lokoja on Monday.

President, Kabawa Youth Association, Aliyu Muhammad, appealed to the state government to either ensure steady supply of water to Kabawa community or create an access pathway through the embankment built along the banks of River Niger.

“As early as 3.30am, our women are already up searching for water that is needed in our respective homes. Water supply from government owned Greater Lokoja Water is irregular. Our alternative source of water is River Niger but government has built embankment around all our traditional routes. From time immemorial, we have always fetched water from this river for daily domestic needs,” he said.

The representative of Adankolo community confirmed the decline in water supply to homes in the state capital. He noted that without regularly water supply recent attempts to reduce open defecation will not yield positive results. He called on government to step up work on effective sewage disposal across the town.

It was equally observed that many community members in Lokoja mis-manage and destroy water facilities in their communities which lead to huge water wastage.

Dan’Asabe Umar noted that it is not uncommon to see residents in Adankolo fetching water from gutters where connecting water pipe had been damaged.

While others complained about irregular water supply, representatives of Felele, Sarki-Noma, Crusher and Jimgbe communities in Lokoja complained that have not been connected to the Greater Lokoja Water since the establishment of the water plant in 2012 despite the public out-cry over the past years.

The Madaki of Felele, Chief Shaibu Jibril appealed to Kogi state government to extend the Greater Lokoja Water to the area given its location and population of inhabitants.

“Felele hosts the ever busy International Market, Lokoja-Abuja highway Kogi State Polytechnic and the Federal University. This is one of the largest concentration of people in the state capital, however, it sad to note that not a few residents have lost their lives while crossing the highway in search for water,” he said.

In her contribution, the Kogi state project coordinator, Search for Common Ground, Gift Omoniwa called on the state government to carry out water supply analysis, saying “if residents in the state capital are complaining, what is the fate of rural dwellers?”

Responding, the General Manager Kogi State Water Board, Engr Abdulsalam Sadiq said the main challenge faced is the topography of the town. He noted that there was no plan for residents living uphill in the town’s masterplan but assured that the board will continue to work harder to ensure regular supply.

Sadiq bemoaned unethical behaviour of residents whose activities results in wastage of water. He urged communities to take special care of supply facilities in the areas by safe guarding it from vandalization and reporting technical issues promptly.

Residents frowned at the location of public toilet built by the state government over a year ago in the state capital. They argued that residents around Army Signal, where the public toilet was located, are urbane people who will prefer their private toilets.

They called on government to cite enough public toilets at strategic public places as the fight against open defecation is still far from being won.

Speaking earlier, JDPC Lokoja Project Officer, Adejoh Sunday Success urged community leaders to be selfless and passionate about development of their respective communities.

He emphasised that community leaders have a huge role to play in achieving the sustainable development goals.

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