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By Sunday Apah
The Delta State Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Rt. Hon. Evelyn Omavowan Oboro Esq, has assured the staff of the Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (STOWASSA) of the full support of her ministry to ensure that small towns in the state got more supply of potable water in the state.
Oboro made this known when the staff of the STOWASSA paid her courtesy call in her office in Asaba, the state capital.
She said that the Ministry of Water Resources Development had before the establishment of STOWASSA, concentrated the supply of water only to big towns in the state.
According to her, “there is no doubt that the small towns constitute 60% of the towns that make up the state, as some of those places referred to as rural areas are homes to the small towns in the state.”
“After listening to you carefully, I think we will work together to ensure that the small towns get more benefits because they form 60% of the total towns in the state.”
“So, Governor Okowa has done a lot in the water sector and he is still willing to do more because he is aware of the fact that STOWASSA covers 60% of the area where government refers to as small towns and he is willing to provide enough facilities that will give the people clean and healthy water for their consumption”, she reiterated.
Earlier, the General Manager of STOWASSA, Engr. Tonnevsky-Anthony Oghale Unuafe, explained that Small Towns Water Supply Sanitation Programme (STWSSP) was a joint initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Delta State Government and the European Union, aimed at establishing a demand driven community based approach for the development of water supply and sanitation facilities in small towns in the state.
He said that the programme commenced with four pilot schemes at Oleh, Owheologbo, Ebu and Ekakpamre in the state since 2007/2008 as State Project Co-ordinating Unit (SPCU) office, under counterpart funding arrangement of which Federal Government would pay 50%; the state government, 30%; the beneficiary local government and community in the state 15% and 5% respectively.
Mr Unuaefe appealed for increment of the budgetary provisions and the need for the state to demonstrate commitment by funding the counterpart account and doing other things required to provide monthly subvention to the agency.