FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has expressed the commitment of the FCT Administration to reducing multi-dimensional poverty levels and achieving set targets in water, sanitation and hygiene.
In a statement signed by Austin Elemue, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, the minister expressed this commitment during the official inauguration of Abaji Water Treatment Plant. She also stated that the project would no doubt assist to improve the health and economic condition of the benefiting communities, and take the FCT a step closer to advancing the cause of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) attainment.
Aliyu also revealed that the administration has initiated actions to achieve the targets of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH) and to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status across the FCT in line with the Executive Order number 9.
“We are indeed committed to meeting the ODF target before the nationally set date of 2025 and universal access to water and sanitation by the SDG target of 2030. Already, we have developed an SDG action plan for the FCT and have aligned the 17 SDGs with our ministerial deliverables and applicable Presidential Directives and Executive Orders. Our 2021 budget priorities have been dictated by the need to meet these objectives,” she stressed.
The minister, however, assured other communities that are yet to benefit, that the administration was working to ensure that water is provided for them to improve their wellbeing, noting that the project has the capacity to serve more than one million people, and expressed the hope that it would help the communities to adequately meet their water and sanitation needs.
She, therefore, charged the beneficiary communities to demonstrate genuine appreciation for the project, by protecting the facilities from vandalization, while tasking them to ensure that the taps and water kiosks are turned off when not in use, and to avoid wastage.
The minister affirmed that in order to ensure sustainability and uninterrupted water supply to the communities, the project facilities need to be serviced and maintained regularly, and considering the economic realities and subsisting competing needs, the FCT Administration shall continue to leverage on partnerships such as the one with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President (OSSAP) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that delivered this project, to deepen and extend service delivery.
She also said; “The Administration shall also be counting on beneficiaries’ willingness to contribute their quota to the sustenance of quality service delivery through the introduction of metering for token water rate payments”.
Earlier, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, noted that the administration has been grappling with the challenge of expanding infrastructure to the teeming population of Abuja, stressing that the inauguration of the treatment plant was to mitigate one of the challenges posed by inadequate infrastructure.
Adesola further noted that the inauguration of the water treatment plant was a testament of the administration’s commitment to improving the welfare and general wellbeing of the people in the FCT in line with the SDG mantra, “leave no one behind”.
Recall that the project comprises the construction of raw water intake structure, flocculation bad sedimentation tank, a filter unit, a clean water tank, high lift pump station, chemical building and dosing system, a service reservoir and transmission and distribution network pipelines.