By Adekunle Adeniyi/TnTv Network
Every 22nd March 2021 is dedicated to celebrate World Water Day 2021 . The team of this year; “Valuing water” celebrates water and raises awareness of the global water crisis, and a core focus of the observance is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
In Nigeria today, most areas still lack adequate water supply, this has generated series of outcry from concerned Nigerians and stakeholders alike. The latest is coming from a Lawmaker representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, who appealed to the federal government to invest in Ogbese Dam in Ekiti.
Speaking while commissioning a solar-powered borehole he donated to Iyin Ekiti town under the federal government water intervention programme to commemorate the 2021 World Water Day celebration on Monday, Bamidele said huge investment in the facility would encourage farming, boost electricity generation and water supply to the state.
He described the dam located between Ikere and Ise Ekiti as a multipurpose dam that would encourage irrigation farming and as well as hydro electricity generation, if completed.
The programme was attended by Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Adeniyi Ajakaye, Chiefs, community leaders, academics, experts in water resources management and the executives of Iyin Ekiti Youth Forum, led by its National President, Com. Abayomi Ogundipe.Espousing the importance of water to national development, Bamidele, represented by his Senior Legislative Assistant , Hon. Bunmi Oguntuase, said: “This project has been lying uncompleted for long. Going by what the experts said, the Ogbese multipurpose dam can be used for irrigation, water supply and electricity generation.
“The water reticulation from Ogbese can reach about four local governments in the south Senatorial district and the irrigation can make Ekiti achieve food security apart from capacity to generate megawatts of electricity that can enhance local economy”.
Emphasizing the fact that water is a necessity, Bamidele, said the solar- powered borehole would supply clean water to Iyin Ekiti residents to ensure their wellbeing and broaden their access to safe water. “It has been said that 70 percent of the world is covered by water while 60 percent of the human body composition is made up of water.
These underscored the significance of water in our daily lives. “It is the duty of everyone to monitor this facility. Not all representatives can be good or remember his people, but Senator Bamidele acted differently . So , I want you to pay him back with your supports and prayers at all times”. The Managing Director, Benin- Owena River Basin, Engr Saliu Ahmed, said time has come for the Nigerian citizens to start placing high premium on water conservation and management .Ahmed said the federal government is investing hugely in the development of mini dams around the country to enhance irrigation for all -year- round farming.
“We are currently constructing a dam at Aisegba Ekiti and the dam in Ayede Ekiti is receiving attentions. Dams are full of economic gains like electricity generation, irrigation , gaming, aquaculture, recreation that can fetch any state and country resources to transform the economy.
“That is why it is imperative that we don’t waste water, don’t use this facility anyhow, so that water can save you later. Some people were in the habit of destroying Public property, don’t let this be like that. Protect this public utility in the interest of all of us”.
In his short, but well articulated talk on ‘Valuing Water’, the theme of this year’s celebration, the General Manager , Ekiti State Water and Sanitation, Engr Ayo Alegbeleye, said it has become a general consensus globally that water should be treated as a valuable resource.
Alegbeleye added that though water remains the most abundant resource created by God, but stated that its medical, economic and physiological relevances can’t be quantified, saying scientists had established that 60 percent of the body is composed of water .The General Manager said : ” Water has the economic capacity and efficiency capable of shoring up the revenues of a country by way of water generation, water concession , damming , gaming , recreation , tourism and many others” The General Manager regretted that about 45 percent of Nigerians lack access to good and potable water for sustainability, saying the project will help in resolving the long-standing crisis .
“With the way water was being wasted globally, the existence of water is being threatened all over the world. If you observe now, water that we are getting freely and abundantly in the past is becoming more difficult to get. “Now, we are in March , rain had just fallen twice in Ekiti. In most cases, our people pollute underground water with faeces and urine and endangering the lives of our people. Government is planning open defecation free system, but this can only be possible with water.
“Ekiti people are being carefree with their environmental and medical wellbeing, but we thank God for what the government and good representative like Senator Opeyemi Bamidele are doing about water management in Ekiti”. Speaking about the economic value of water, Alegbeleye added : Though, some people refer to water as a social services , but our people have to pay for it. No government can give free water now, because we spend millions to rehabilitating boreholes yearly.
“The WASH committee on the borehole must tax those consuming water from this borehole to maintain it, because this facility must be maintained, it should not get damaged”.Saluting Senator Banidele’s commitment to Iyin Ekiti development, the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Adeniyi Adeola Ajakaye, appealed to his subjects to protect and preserve the facility to ensure durability, so that it can be more beneficial to the residents.
“Those who are sending their children to borehole to fetch water must tell them to handle the facility with care. “I want to tell the Benin-Owena River Basin that we have a dam here that we have constructed half -way before being abandoned. We will be glad if you can help us complete it , so that my town can join the league of towns with useful dams”.
He commended the Senator for always standing for Iyin people, saying Bamidele demonstrated such superlative quality as commissioner in Lagos, House of Representatives and now as a member of the Senate. In his submission, an academic, Prof Ayo Akinlua, said a committee will be composed by the community to oversee the wellness of the facility and guard it again at damage.The Professor added: “The skills acquisition centre where this facility is built is to train artisans.
I appeal to parents that they shouldn’t allow their wards to lay about. Let them be engaged gainfully by coming here to acquire skills to make them relevant socially and economically”.