Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) on Monday kick-started the state’s community water revolution through its Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA).
Akeredolu, whose five cardinal programmes are focused on improving the standard of living of the people, was represented at the occasion by his Special Adviser on Public Utilities, Tunji Ariyomo, who was accompanied by the General Manager of the agency, Moses Omodemi.
The kick-off started at the Ifelodun-Alamoye community in Akure High School area of Akure South Local Government Area.
Ariyomo said RUWASSA had identified over 200 sites for rural and small towns’ borehole rehabilitation projects as well as nearly 100 new borehole sites as part of efforts to overhaul rural water supply in the 18 local government areas this year.
He said: “Beyond the boreholes, which will meet immediate needs of our people, Mr. Governor has also recorded appreciable progress in urban water supply. The state has begun …consultancy on the supply of water to parts of the core urban centres in the state capital as part of a major water project that’s underway.
“For the community water projects, some of the beneficiary communities include Atipere, Agbayewa, Oke-Meji, Potoki on Idanre Road, Ifeloju-Alamoye as well as batteries of motorised boreholes with overhead tanks to be cited in Cocoa Board area in Oda.”
Ariyomo added: “The governor is determined to improving the standard of living of the people through water, electricity and construction of roads across the state.”
The adviser noted that “as we gather here today, for instance, Governor Akeredolu has succeeded in getting the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) through the assistance of the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to energise Omotosho community in Ondo State. We expect Omotosho to go live any moment from today. This is a community that has never experienced electricity supply since the return to democracy in 1999 and even since the two national power plants were sited in that community.”
Residents of the Alawoye community expressed joy over the state government’s borehole project.
Mrs. Bola Alo, one of the residents, recalled how the area had suffered from lack of potable water for decades.
She said their wells got dry quickly during the dry season, adding that not all the wells were safe for drinking.
Mrs Alo said the worst nightmare of the residents was that they trekked long distance to fetch water.
The community leader, Owolade Lawrence, who described Akeredolu as God-sent and a listening governor, said the governor had fulfilled one of the two electioneering promises he made to the community.
He said: “It remains Alaogo Road, which is not motorable. Some residents have been cut off.”
They declared unflinching support for the governor, urging other residents across the state to support the implementation of the present administration’s programmes.
Ariyomo said his office was working with the Ministry of Education to tackle water shortage in the state’s special schools, including the School for the Deaf.
The governor’s aide reiterated Akeredolu’s commitment to ensuring that communities, such as Ode-Aye and Okitipupa, were reconnected to the national grid.
He said: “I can confidently tell you that I was on the phone with the contractor handling the Omotosho to Okitipupa transmission line today and he was full of praises to Governor Akeredolu for his strategic intervention. The Benin electricity distribution company (DISCO) has also informed us that the December delay was occasioned by challenges it faced on contractor selection.”