By Joseph Edegbo
Worried by the negative attitude of citizens towards the value of water, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Kaduna State Water Corporation, Northwest Nigeria, Comrade Sanusih Maikudi has enjoined Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) to champion the campaign for change of citizens attitude towards water management.
The Managing Director was speaking on Tuesday in Kaduna during an advocacy visit by AMDF team, led by the Executive Director, Mr. Iliya Kure.
Comrade Maikudi decried the level of abuse of water, as well as damage to water sources through pollution, including dumping of refuse in rivers.
He warned that unless adequate steps were taken to check the trend through proper management of water sources including dams, the nation would in no distance future, pay dearly for the human actions, citing the loss of Birnin Gwari Dam and the drying up of Lake Chad, among others.
On the challenges facing the Kaduna State Water Corporation on water supply to consumers, the Managing Director disclosed that over 90% of the inputs are imported such as water treatment chemicals, machineries, pipes, transformers and aluminium conductors, which are usually affected by exchange rate.
Others are the aged infrastructure dated back to over fifty years, inadequate power supply, demographic explosion and chronic urbanization resulting in low water supply.
“We are founded in the 1920s, by 2020, we became 100yrs old, so all our underground infrastructure are still the same. Like the original pipes, their lifespan is 40yrs with the moratorium of 10yrs, so you can use them for 50yrs maximum. So, if they had been installed in 1930, by 1980 they should have gone, between 1980 and 2022 you have 42yrs in arrears, so it is an inherited challenge.”
Comrade Maikudi however disclosed that the government was planning to embark on a gigantic project to make water supply sufficient in the state, while the Corporation is making every effort in improving the current water supply.
“We have a project called “Greater Kaduna”, the new population of Kaduna was assessed, it was determined that for us to do justice to water supply, we need a new dam, and a site has been identified in Kajuru LGA.
“So, the FG has agreed to build a new multipurpose dam, the name of the project is “Greater Kaduna Metropolitan Water Supply and Sanitation project”.
“With the new dam, Kaduna State government has agreed to build a new ultramodern water treatment plant with a capacity of 300m litres per day.
“The multipurpose dam will provide power, irrigation, tourism and water supply, Kaduna State will take one of the four services of the dam to do water treatment plant and the treatment plant will be constructed close to the dam, so that all the villages on the way will get water before it gets to the centre, the reason is if you bring it to the centre to process, you to take it back to them.
“Each neighbourhood like, Sabo, Makera and Rigasa will have their own reservoir, it is a comprehensive plan. AFDB and Islamic bank have agreed to work with the state government and the FG to actualise it.” He explained.
He commended AMDF for the visit, expressing the hope for a mutually beneficial outcome after the engagement where knowledge is shared and areas of collaboration identified.
Comrade Maikudi also stressed the need for experts to come together to share knowledge between the Water Corporation and Civil Society Organisations so as to develop areas of collaboration as well as capacity building.
Earlier, the Executive Director, AMDF, Mr. Iliya Kure, had said that the team was on advocacy visit to the Corporation to identify areas of collaboration that would add value to strengthen their operations having seen it as a critical stakeholder.
He disclosed that the AMDF had supported a number of Ministries and Agencies of the Kaduna State Government in various ways and would not relent, hence the advocacy visit.
Kure said AMDF is currently undertaking a Media based project on Climate Change in Kaduna State, which required identification and engagement of critical stakeholders towards achieving their objectives.
He emphasized the need for Journalists who the AMDF has been supportive in their trainings on various areas of reportage, be knowledgeable on the operations of the Corporation, to enable them pass correct information to the public.