Due, largely to the cynicism that seems to be sweeping through Nigeria, especially as concerns political office holders and provision of good governance or the proverbial dividends of democracy, it has become easy to miss major breakthroughs when they occur.
This is especially so when such occur in critical areas that many have started to assume that such breakthroughs can never be witnessed .
One such area is provision of portable water for all. Nigerians have since assumed that this basic necessity of life can never be provided for all by governments. Many, thus, still get their water from ponds, streams, rivers and such natural sources, however unwholesome the water may be, while those who can construct boreholes or dig wells.
The cynicism must be the reason why the story of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s efforts to provide portable water for all the communities in his state seem to have not been sufficiently celebrated.
Recently, there was news of Dr. Fayemi personally taking delivery of equipment worth N1.4 billion for ongoing rehabilitation work at the Ero Dam in the state which is expected to provide water for 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) out of the 16 LGAs of the state.
Assuring that work on the Ero dam would be completed by June this year, the governor noted that work on another dam, the Egbe dam that would supply water to the remaining six LGAs is also nearing completion.
According to him, the plan is to ensure that virtually all communities in the state have access to portable water by the time the two dams and the Ureje water works are completed.
The fact that a governor in Nigeria has such a plan, that is aimed at touching the lives of all, especially the lives of those that cannot afford clean water, and is working towards actualisation of the plan, is something to celebrate. This is moreso when it is considered that many public office holders in Nigeria scarcely give a thought to provision of such essential public utilities, often preferring to sign contracts for white elephant, non-essential projects that end up being abandoned.
Water is life and many residents of the state will not forget the governor that gave them portable water, especially if there are in-built mechanisms that would guarantee sustainability. Already, some water fetching points have started functioning and the people must be happy for them. It is also an added credit that the governor is using an accomplished engineer and grassroots politician, Engineer Bamidele Faparusi, the State’s Commissioner for Public Utilities, to drive this vision.
Governor Fayemi must be commended for this initiative and supported by all, individuals and organisations, local and international, to deliver this laudable project and Hon. Faparusi and his officials must ensure that nothing goes wrong.
Other governors, some of who are more interested in awarding bogus contracts for such projects as flyovers in states that do not have traffic gridlocks, must take a cue from Fayemi’s example of addressing frontally the critical issue of provision of portable water for the residents of Ekiti State.