By Olajide Idowu
Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun on Wednesday said the state government had secured a $65-million loan from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to improve water supply in the state.
He made this known during the celebration of the World Water Day in Osogbo.
Celebrated annually on March 22, the World Water Day focuses attention on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in developing countries.
The day also focuses on advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources.
The first International World Water Day, designated by the UN, was commemorated in 1993
Aregbesola, represented at the world observance day by the state’s Senior Consultant on Water Resources, Mrs Tawakalitu Williams, said the step was in line with the six-point Integral Action Programme of the state government.
He appealed to the people of the state to ensure efficient utilisation of water, saying the government had concluded plans to boost agriculture through irrigation.
He added that “healthy living cannot be achieved without adequate access to potable water supply.
“It is due to this recognition that my administration embarked on rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities in urban, small towns and rural areas of the state.
“The state has secured a loan of 65 million dollars from Islamic Development Bank for the construction of water treatment plant, 17km transmission line from Kajola to Ilesa, booster pumping station and three water reservoirs on the hill.
“The state will provide counterpart fund of about 40 million dollars for the construction of water distribution system and sanitation.
“This year’s theme of the World Water Day — “Why Waste water” is also in line with the mandate of the six-point Integral Action Plan of my administration to improve agricultural production to ensure food security in the state.”
The team leader of the European Union, Mr Adebayo Alao, appreciated the governor’s
support and appealed to him to expedite action on implementation of the State Water Sector Law that was assented to in October 2015.
He said Osun was second to Anambra in providing counterpart funds needed for the rural/urban water programmes out of 14 states that the European Union was supporting.
The guest lecturer at the programme, Prof. M. K. Shridah, stressed the need for the use of good and clean water for healthy living.
He also commended the governor for efforts toward providing potable water to the people of the state.
Shridah, a lecturer with College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, said many diseases emanate from water and urged people to ensure that they use clean water.