By Gabriel Yough
Jalingo (NAN) Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has approved N6.8 billion for the expansion of Jalingo Primary Water Works, to carter for the growing population of Jalingo, the state capital.
Water resources commissioner Emmanuel Gowon, who disclosed this in Jalingo, on Wednesday, said that the city currently harbours 250,000 people, which is far above initial projections.
The commissioner reaffirmed government’s commitment to ensuring steady water for all, and disclosed that 7,000 prepaid water meters had been purchased for distribution to consumers.
He said that the meters would ensure effective revenue collection, adding that government was intensifying efforts to turn its water supply agency into a major revenue earner.
Gowon spoke at the third edition of ‘Face the Press’, an initative of Mr Emmanuel Bello, Special Assistant to the governor on Public Affairs, aimed at enhancing weekly interactions between government officials and the media.
According to him, the ongoing Jalingo water works by the African Development Bank (AFDB), in partnership with the Taraba government, will ensure water supply to areas hitherto not covered.
“When completed, the project will generate 13.5 million litres of water daily and transmit same within Jalingo and its environs,” he said.
Gowon said that government had entered into agreement with the Nairobi City Water Agency in Kenya, to train 50 Taraba youths on revenue collection and general maintenance of water resources.
“When we undertook a tour to Kenya, we discovered that Nairobi City Water Supply Agency generates N8 billion annually, and we decided to partner with them for the training of our youth,” he said.
He said that the state currently had 40 water stations across the 16 Local Government Areas, which were supplying water to urban and semi urban communities.
Also speaking, Mr Musa Siam, General Manager, Taraba Water Supply Agency, said that Jalingo residents would start enjoying increased water supply by March, 2017 when the ongoing AFDB project would be completed.
In his contribution, Alhaji Ishiaka Bashir, Programme Manager, Taraba Rural Water Supply Agency, said that government recently sank 100 boreholes across the state.
“Government has also approved the sinking of additional 150 boreholes before the end of May 2017, to adequately tackle the problem of rural water supply in Taraba,” he said.