The Kwara State government has reacted to a video showing residents of the Dagbalodo community in the Patigi local government area digging up soil in search of water.
The AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq-led government disclosed that officials of the state would visit the village on Tuesday, adding that it was accountable for the wellbeing of the people.
While recording its past projects on water in the state, the state revealed that it had collaborated with the Nigerian government to improve rural access to hygienic amenities in Asa, Moro, Patigi, Ilorin East and other areas.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Commissioner for Water Resources in the state, Alhaji Femi Agbaje obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday.
SaharaReporters had published a video how the residents of Dagbalodo were using their hands to dig out the soil in search of water.
In a statement titled, “Dagbalodo: We Take Responsibility For People's Welfare: Kwara Government,” Agbaje said, “The government has seen a video of some community folks digging up the soil in search of water in Dagbalodo village of Patigi local government area of the state. This video is another spur for our administration to ramp up existing efforts and partnerships to bridge the inherited infrastructural gaps in not just the water sector but in virtually every area of basic human needs across the state.
“Specifically on water, the administration’s recent needs assessment report has revealed acute shortage of water supply in a few local government areas such as Asa, Patigi (where Dagbalodo community is situated), Moro, and others.
“Despite the yearly budgetary allocations of billions of naira purportedly allocated to the sector pre-2019, this administration inherited no functional waterworks in the state while the entire staff of the water corporation were on strike for non-payment of salaries. That sums up the pitiable situation in the water sector.
“This administration is however not sleeping on the report it did on water shortage; neither is it proud of this preexisting precarious situation, such as the one at Dagbalodo community.
“So far, as part of its stop-gap measures to address water scarcity pending when sustainable water sources would be available statewide, the administration has dug some 500 boreholes between June 2019 and July 2021. These cut across the three senatorial districts.
“Similarly, Kwara has entered into a partnership with the FG to boost rural access to sanitation facilities, including potable water, in frontline local government areas such as Asa, Moro, Patigi, Ilorin East, among others. The choice of these areas is as a result of the acute water scarcity revealed in recent situation reports.
“The government is not relenting in ensuring that people have access to drinkable water in a sustainable way as dictated in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 to which this administration is committed.
“Between 2019 and now, the administration has fixed nine water works across the state, including in Patigi, and is constructing new ones in Jebba and Dumagi. The results have taken Kwara from where it was, while more efforts continue to go into deepening public access to clean water in every part of the state.
“The administration takes full responsibility for the welfare of the people of Kwara State, including in deepening access to water even to the remotest corner. However, these efforts are understandably limited by resources which must be spread to other sectors like basic education, healthcare, rural and urban roads, and other human capital development indices.
“It is against this background that we call for patience and understanding while the administration continues to fill the inexplicably deep gap it inherited in public access to basic amenities, especially in the rural areas of the state.
“Finally, I will be leading a team from the Ministry of Water Resources to visit the Dagbalodo community on Tuesday to address the issue along with other such requests elsewhere in the state. This is without prejudice to the administration's overall strategy to addressing water shortage in a sustainable way through functional waterworks.”