BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Edo State Government has commenced the implementation of the Construction Phase of the Niger Delta Support Programme (NDSP) -3, to improve access to safe water supply and basic sanitation facilities in the state.
State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, launched the programme at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State, noting that, “with the support of suitable technology, improved access to finances and strong commitment, the state government will provide access to safe water in all parts of the state.”
The NDSP programme is initiated by the Federal Government and the European Union (EU) to improve access to safe water supply in the five Niger Delta states. The project is funded jointly by Edo State Government and the EU.
Governor Obaseki, who was represented at the flag-off by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, commended the EU and its partners for supporting the state to improve access to safe water, adding, “The support of the EU will enable the state government drastically reduce challenges with safe water supply, which contributes to many water-borne diseases in rural areas.”
Representative of the EU, Albert Achten, said that the EU adopted a strategy to involve beneficiaries of water schemes in the programme design so that they can own the projects, noting “There are hundreds of water schemes in the Niger Delta region that have been abandoned or not functioning effectively due to lack of maintenance culture. The sustainability of the project by the benefiting communities would attract more investments and funding from donor and international agencies.”
Assistant Director, International Cooperation, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Ileuma Ahonsi, said contractors for the project have been mobilised to site to commence the construction work.
Ahonsi said: “The objective of the NDSP is to assist the state reduce poverty in rural areas and sub-urban communities and improve access to water supply.”
He added that technical issues affecting the proposed Uromi Water Supply Reticulation Scheme has been resolved and the contract for the project will be signed before the end of March.
The Commissioner for Energy and Water Resources, Hon. Yekini Idaiye, said that 10 communities in Ovia South West and Estako West Local Government Areas of the state have benefitted from the NDSP project which started in 2014.
BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN