BEFORE now, some rural communities in Plateau State find it difficult to find potable drinking water. Our correspondent gathered that people in some communities of the state before now drink from the same source with animals. Water is a transparent fluid which forms the world’s streams, lakes, oceans and rain, and is the major constituent of the fluids of organisms. Water is one of the most important substances on earth as all plants and animals must have water to survive. If there was no water, there would be no life on earth. Apart from drinking it to survive, people have many other uses for water. Emmanuel Dube, a citizen from a rural community in Shendam LGA of Plateau State told our correspondent that “before now, our only source of drinking water was the small river in our community for those of us who could not afford to buy satchet water from neighbouring village. We found it very difficult to get portable drinking water until the state government led by Governor Simon Lalong recently constructed a borehole in our community”, he said. Before now in most rural areas of Plateau, women and children are seen walking, queuing and carrying jerry cans in search of water but this has reduced drastically following the construction of boreholes in most communities in the state. It would be recalled that Governor Simon Lalong had at th early state of Hs administration vowed to provide dividends of democracy to the people of the state, especially those at the grassroot. Lalong also fashion out a Five-Point Policy Thrust to help him deliver on his mandate to the people. He said “the goal of the rescue administration in the state is to reduce human suffering and uplifting the quality of lives of the people. This government is conscious of its debt of honour to the teeming populace that massively voted us into power. We have consciousness of living up to the expectations in exhibiting duty of care in service delivery with the promise and hope of a better and prosperous tomorrow. “Without recourse to lamentations and as panacea to govern without prejudice and move the state positively, we embraced core values that are fundamentally located in the heart of the Plateau spirit, namely, sense of communality, diverse ethnicity, mutual respect, tolerance, peace, hospitality, humility, and diligence. We are still on course and what I envision for Plateau State is not just economic prosperity, but a rebirth of our spirit, and a renewal of commitment to our unity and common purpose”, he said. Recently, the state government said that the Lalong administration has concluded plans to provide mobile water treatment plants in rural areas across the state to boost provision of potable water. Commissioner for Water Resources and Energy, Mr David Wuyep, stated this in an interview with Journalist. He said that the state government would through the state Ministry of Water resources and energy provide the mobile water treatment plants in the rural areas. “Governor Lalong is committed to the welfare of its citizens and the state government is taking the step to ensure that the cases of cholera and other water borne diseases are reduced to the barest, especially in the rural areas”. He said that the ministry has adopted a number of strategies towards providing portable water in the rural areas. The commissioner said one of such strategies is the provision of small water schemes, mobile treatment plants and medium level treatment plants that would be used in treating the water for those in the rural areas. “We have commenced the provision of small water schemes, mobile treatment plants and medium level treatment plants in the rural areas. The small water schemes and the medium level treatment plants would be sited at different locations preferably at the local government headquarters. Each of the plant will pump between 500 to 1500 cubic meters of water daily,” he said adding that the ministry is also working to extend reticulation from the central dams to reach more Local Governments around the dams.
According to the commissioner, this would go a long way to tackling the issue of none availability of portable water in such areas. In addition to the mobile treatment plants, he said, the ministry would also ensure that each community in the local governments are provided with hand dug wells. This, he said, was another strategy adopted for the provision of potable water. Wuyep said that the health of the people in the state is very paramount to the government, hence, the decision to embark on these strategies. Also speaking to newsmen during the monthly press briefing in Jos recently, the Commissioner for Infromation , Mallam Nazif Muhammad said “government was committed to providing safe water to the citizenry”. Water treatment plants have been resuscitated in Shendam, Pankshin and Bokkos even as several kilometers of old water pipelines are being replaced/repaired within the Jos/Bukuru metropolis. He also said 340 boreholes are being drilled in Riyom and Shendam. This is being supported by the EU-UNICEF Project through the Plateau Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency. Power supply restored to communities such as Miango, Datti-Zawan, Kung- Bwana, Du, Karon-Foron which have experienced power failure for several years. Similarly he said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with William Duncan Hydroelectric for 32 MW hydro power project in Kwall, Bassa LGA. He said large quantities of water treatment chemicals were procured for the Plateau State Water Board. This administration also overhauled and repaired the hitherto non-functional high lift water pump at Yakubu Gowon Treatment Plant leading to restoration of pumping on the Phase and also restored water supply and distribution to some communities in Rukuba road, Kabong, Utan, Alheri areas, etc that hitherto could not get water supply for periods between 5 and 24 years. “Similarly With joint cooperation of Local Government Council Transition committee of Pankshin and Shendam, the water treatment plants have been energized and municipal water supplies restored “ he added. A citizen of Riyom local government who gave her name as Yop told our correspondent that before now they often had to resort to the patronage of water vendors to access water for domestic use. “Before Simon Lalong led government came into office, we used to seek assistance from owners of boreholes in neighbouring villages to access potable water. But recently to ameliorate the current challenges, the state government recently constructed a bore hole in our community. I acknowledge government’s intervention and efforts towards ensuring regular supply of clean water in the state, we would remain grateful to the Lalong led administration”, she added. Remark Diet, a citizen of Plateau hailed governor Lalong for his efforts at providing portable drinking water to the people at the rural areas stressing that this would eradicate cholera and other water borne diseases in the state. He called on citizens of the state to continue to support the administration inorder to provide more dividends of democracy to the people.