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EKITI STATE SURWASH PROGRAMME KICK-STARTS PARTNERSHIP WITH LOCAL COUNCILS FOR IMPROVED WATER AND SANITATION ACCESS ACROSS THE STATE

Infrastructure and Public Utilities Commissioner, Prof Bolaji Aluko(middle) flanked by his Local Government Affairs counterpart, Mr Folorunso Olabode and Council Chairman during the Engagement Meeting

The Ekiti State Sustainable Urban, Rural Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) programme in conjunction with the State Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, has initiated a partnership with the 16 Local Government Councils and 22 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) as part of concerted efforts to enhance Water, Sanitation and Hygiene access across the State

Speaking during an engagement meeting with the Chairmen of the Local Governments and LCDAs in Ado-Ekiti , the State Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko urged the Council Chiefs to prioritize the implementation of the Water , Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme within their jurisdictions.

Prof. Aluko noted that the collaborative efforts between the State and Local Governments signifies a concerted push towards improving Water and Sanitation access, ultimately contributing to public health and well-being of Ekiti people.

The Commissioner emphasized the present administration’s commitment to the welfare of the people, noting the State Executive Council recently announced plans to repair 121 existing boreholes as well as many more projects in the pipeline.

He also noted the existing establishment of WASH Departments across LGAs, and urged the complementary and cooperative establishment of WASH Units across the LCDAs.

He urged the Chairmen to support and equip the Local Government WASH departments and the proposed units at the LCDAs towards ensuring active involvement in project implementation.

Prof. Aluko revealed that the SURWASH program is being supported by a World Bank Performance for Results loan, with preparations underway to meet all requirements for incentives disbursement, urging the Chairmen to take proactive steps in repairing WASH facilities without solely relying on state government intervention.

The Commissioner highlighted the importance of water sources in the State such as Ero, Egbe, and Itapaji dams, urging local authorities to understand and maximize the potential of these resources.

He underscored the need for improved water and sanitation Infrastructure, citing the absence of toilets in many households as a pressing concern.

In his contribution, the State Commissioner for Local Government, Hon. Folorunso Olabode, echoed the importance of water in sustaining human life, pledging his support for the project.

He urged the Local Government Chairmen to utilize available budgets effectively and provide essential services such as Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene to the people.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Engr. Olumide Ajayi, emphasized the need for collaboration and project understanding among all stakeholders.

While speaking on local government perspective of WASH, the Permanent Secretary said that all the Chairmen were expected to have Local Government Action Plan that align with WASH policies and laws as well as Local Government Investment Plan that would contain intervention to promote household level expenditures on WASH, leverage on community development Unions interests, and encourage support-a-toilet initiative, as well as achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in each of their LGAs.

The General Manager, Ekiti State Water and Sanitation Regulation Agency (EK-WASRA), Engr. Ayodele Osalade, outlined the legal framework and objectives of the State’s WASH policy.

He highlighted the roles and responsibilities of Local Governments in promoting water Governance and access to safe water.

The Monitoring & Evaluation Officer of the SURWASH Program, Mr. Olatunji Olorunfemi, presented an overview of the SURWASH program. He emphasized on its objective and the necessity of cooperation between the State and Local Government for its success.

Responding on behalf of the Chairmen, the Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Ekiti State, Hon. Oluwasegun Ojo,
pledged their full cooperation in achieving the program’s objectives.

Also present at the event were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Adedayo Ajobiewe, Permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Mrs. Titilayo Toba-Ojo, Chairmen from the 16 Local Government and 22 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) and other top government officials

Posted in Ekiti State News Bulletin
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