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FG partners Bayelsa State on water provision

By on April 28, 2013

The Federal Government has announced its readiness to partner Bayelsa State to ensure adequate provision of safe water for residents of the state.

The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, stated this when she received the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, in her office in Abuja.

Ochekpe said the Federal Government had realised that to meet the Millennium Development Goals there was need to increase collaboration with state governments.

She said it was in this regard that the ministry recently held a meeting with all state commissioners for water resources to strengthen the cooperation between the states and the Federal Government to achieve the objective of adequate provision of safe water.

According to her, another meeting with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum is being planned to solicit the governors’ support.

He told the governor that work was progressing on the Otuoke water project, which extended to 13 communities, and other similar projects being handled by the ministry in the state.

Although Ochekpe lamented the setback suffered by the Otuoke water project as a result of flood of last year, he said that the project would soon be completed and by July this year, the people of Otuoke and other adjoining communities would start to enjoy the water.

She said, “We are sorry that in Bayelsa State you have so much water around you but no fresh water because of the effect of pollution. Government is doing everything possible through our Niger Delta River Basin Authority to support you and ensure adequate provision of water for the people in the area.”

On the interest shown by the Bayelsa State Government to take over the rice farm project at Peremabiri, Ochekpe said, “We will collaborate with you but we will not hand over the project.”

Earlier, Dickson had said the state government alone could not provide water without the support of the Federal Government.

He said, “I am here to solicit your support in technical terms; we need to tap into the expertise of your ministry, my government intends to do a lot this year in the area of water.”

Dickson explained that measures were being taken by his government to prevent the reoccurrence of flood as experienced in the state last year.

According to him, two committees had been set up to enable government prepare effective response, adding that his administration intends to embark on massive rice farming this year to boost the state’s economy.