Kogi Government’s explanation on why Lokoja’s water supply is still out
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Kogi Government’s explanation on why Lokoja’s water supply is still out

According to Yahaya M.D. Farouk, the commissioner for water resources in Kogi State, the present government is keeping a close eye on the problem of a lack of drinkable water in Lokoja and the surrounding areas. Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo and his ministry are leading this effort.

Farouk made the promises at a news conference held at his Lokoja office on Friday. He listed numerous reasons for the facility’s setback.

Among the top water treatment facilities in Nigeria, the Greater Lokoja Water Treatment has the capacity to pump 10 million gallons of water daily, and the commissioner highlighted that there are plans to increase that capacity to 15 million gallons on the same day.

Unfortunately, he expressed sadness that the facility’s crucial equipment—including six electromechanical pieces and the high lift pumps—was drowned in the Lokoja floods of October 2022, which resulted in large losses. The development also halted the treatment and provision of drinkable water.

Additionally, Faruk informed the press that the replacement equipment required to restore the plant to its optimal state is costly and would take months to manufacture.

The state administration is currently evaluating three possibilities to restore water to Lokoja, he said, as part of its stated intention to do so.

He revealed that the Greater Lokoja Water Treatment costs between N120 billion and N150 billion (not including reticulation), and that the government is openly contemplating moving the site of the treatment.

He continued by saying that another idea, which may cost somewhere between N70 billion and N90 billion, was to move the two main parts of the plant that are prone to flooding.

The third alternative, according to the commissioner, is to elevate the facility’s equipment beyond the flood level of 2022. He also mentioned that this ambitious project is worth billions of naira.

In response to questions from reporters following the press conference, the commissioner revealed that the state will be contacting the federal ministry of water to investigate the likelihood of a public-private partnership (PPP) and funding from the state to restore the facility to its original function.

While his ministry works to restore citizens’ access to drinkable water, Farouk announced that the Old Lokoja Water Works would be rehabilitated to provide healthy water to some locations. This is one of several intermediate methods until the Greater Lokoja Water Treatment is operational again.

The commissioner revealed that the state governor is tossing and turning to keep the taps turned on, noting that instead of rushing to address the situation, it is now critical to investigate permanent solutions.

Considering the ongoing flooding in Lokoja, which began in 2012 and reached its peak in 2022, it is now more urgent than ever to devise long-term solutions, he said, noting that the project was hastily completed without taking climate change into account at the outset.

He emphasized that the public must be patient and understanding because of the massive expenditure and the difference in currency values between when the project was built and when it was finished.

The commissioner praised Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo for his dedication to the welfare of the state’s citizens, noting that since taking office, the governor has issued daily directives to the ministry’s officials to do all in their power to ensure that the people have access to water.

As far as the state’s water infrastructure are concerned, he said the government is taking a comprehensive approach.

Lokoja metropolitan residents have been very patient and understanding, and the commissioner was grateful for that.

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