How Gov Tambuwal’s Administration Is Tackling Water Shortage In Sokoto, By Zubair Sada
The importance of increasing access to clean water is emphasised in the need for economic development which will lead to the reduction of poverty, it forms key strategy for improving the living standards and health condition of the population. It’s undisputable that Sokoto state has enjoyed the abundance of clean water, thanks to the Goronyo dam which provides 70% of the supply link while the Sokoto River and boreholes constitute the remaining percentage.
Early this year, there was uproar by the public concerning the depleting status of the Goronyo dam which supplies Sokoto and Kebbi states, putting four million lives at risk. It was gathered then that dam might have devastating impact as it decreases each day, as the sudden depletion would not only affect onion, garlic, tomatoes, water melon and sugar cane production in Sokoto state, but will also heighten chances of hunger in both Sokoto and Kebbi state.
In March 2018 when Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal paid an inspection visit to the depleting dam, he raised an alarm saying ‘’the reservoir of Goronyo Dam was constructed to hold one billion cubic meters of water but as we have seen today, the water in it is about 100million cubic meters. This has resulted in inadequate supply of water to the people, our farmers are also suffering because output from this year’s dry season will invariably be affected’’
The Sokoto government under the administration of his Excellency, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as a matter of urgency approved and awarded a N246 million contract for the rehabilitation of 40 exisiting boreholes, as well as the construction of a new one at the Assare Water Scheme under the supervision of the Sokoto state water board. All the borehole project works have been completed, within the Sokoto metropolis, the completed boreholes are located at Abuja road, Kontgora road, Yauri/Kalambaina, Gwiwa Low cost area, Super quarters road and Haliru model primary school.
The governor also approved another contract for the construction of 250 solar powered water schemes to be sited in rural areas across the state. The project comprises of solar pumping system, control room, distribution system, borehole, 10,000 litres capacity tank and security fencing.
The breakdown of the placement include; 14 solar powered boreholes for Dange Shuni, Gada and Sokoto North Local Government in different locations, Wurno council will have 12 while 11 different locations will benefit from the scheme in Illela council. The remaining 17 local government councils will each get 10 of the schemes in their localities
While Goronyo dam awaits intervention from the federal government, the state government has set up an advisory committee on water supply headed by the Secretary to the state government Professor Bashir Garba and has Commissioner of works, Ahmad Aliyu who also doubles as deputy governor of Sokoto state, Permanent secretary of works, past and present general managers including the deputy general manager of Sokoto water board as members. They were instructed to come up with an interim report on how to confront the depleting status of the dam.
In the interim, the committee has met with the Managing Director of Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority, SRRDA, and Engineer Buhari Bature and requested him to double the ration of water supply from the Sokoto River to the water installations and new extensions which are situated along the river. The major pump of the installation along the river which has been faulty, many months ago have been revived and operational. Supply of water is at 60% and keeps improving every day, there lays the ray of hope in result delivery. If the delivery keeps steady, it might shoot up to 75%.
Finally, the interim report of the water supply advisory committee is much awaited, and to be approved by the Sokoto state government. The report will go a long way in providing long term solution to water shortage in Sokoto state.