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By Raphael Ogbonnaiye

The World Bank and Ekiti State Government have concluded arrangements
to recommence rehabilitation work on Ero Dam, the largest water supply
dam in Ekiti State.

According to Dr. Khairy Al-Jamal who led the World Bank’s team on the
3rd Urban National Water Sector Reform Project in a meeting with
Governor Kayode Fayemi on Thursday, the N3.7 billion water project is
expected to help the State address its water challenges as well as
curb open defecation.

Al-Jamal who noted that the project would have started in 2014 shortly
before Dr. Fayemi left office, said the immediate past administration
did nothing on the award of the project to a contractor.

He stated that there was no preparation or feasibility study which
could have helped the bank forge ahead with its aid for the state on
the rehabilitation of the treatment plant at the dam as well as
transmission pipes transporting water from Ero Dam via Ifaki-Iworoko
to Ado Ekiti and other communities.

Al-Jamal stressed that the World Bank “cannot afford to stop or slow
down on the project” because it is expected to be completed by June
2020; saying that the bank is keen on seeing Ekiti people have access
to portable water supply.

He congratulated Governor Fayemi on his re-election; saying that Ekiti
people trusted that the governor had the capacity to deliver on his
people-oriented programmes.

In his response, Governor Fayemi urged the bank to expedite action on
the rehabilitation of the dam, adding that the state government would
provide necessary support to the Bank to ensure that the 18-month
the completion date for the project is met.

In a statement from the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor,
Mr. Yinka Oyebode said the Governor noted that water is a major issue
in Ekiti State, said Ero dam had under performed despite having the
capacity to supply “the bulk of Ekiti State”.

He said the support of the World Bank on the rehabilitation work would
not only help his administration achieve its agenda for the sector but
also, help in actualizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Fayemi said that if the government failed to provide potable water for
the teeming population, it would encourage indiscriminate digging of
boreholes with attendant negative impact on the environment.

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