Improving Access to Potable Water: Bauchi and Sokoto States’ Efforts

Improving Access to Potable Water: Bauchi and Sokoto States’ Efforts


3000 Bauchi communities to get access to potable water

by Ahmed Mohammed, Sunday Trust, 23 December 2012.

Bauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) has expressed its commitment to providing access to safe water to 1.5 million people in 3,000 communities in Bauchi State.

General Manager of the Agency Engineer Garba Magaji, who spoke yesterday while briefing newsmen on the activities of the agency in Bauchi, said government had given adequate attention to access to safe water supply and sanitation in line with the millennium development goals and the National WASH Policy.

Engineer Magaji said government’s efforts to boost water supply in the rural areas led to the establishment of the agency with corresponding progressive annual increase in budgetary allocation.

He said government had approved a state WASH policy to guide programme implementation which, he added, had attracted international donors’ attention.

“The state is at present a beneficiary of two donors-supported projects in rural water supply and sanitation-a DIFD/UNICEF supported Sanitation Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) project being implemented in five local government areas since 2010 and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported rural water supply project which is part of government of Japan’s grant aid programme to be implemented in 14 local government areas from January 2013,” Engineer Magaji, who hailed Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda’s commitment to rural water supply said.


While congratulating Bauchi State government in its efforts to improve access to potable water in the rural areas, one cannot but wonder what proportion of this initiative is borne by donors:  what fraction of the 3,000 communities is being covered by the donors and what fraction is the state’s.

It would also be of great interest to know what percentage of the government budget is devoted to rural water supply as most states in Nigeria proclaim their commitment to development, a program that must have access to water supply as a basic component.

Reference is made to what the State is doing with respect to Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It will also be interesting to know how much the State got for its MDG projects as well as the status of such MDG projects.




Sokoto spends N200m on rural water

By Maiyaki Usman, Daily Times NG, December 14, 2012

Sokoto State Commissioner for Water Resources Alhaji Arzika Tureta, said on Thursday that the government had spent N200 million to upgrade various rural water schemes across the state.

Sokoto State Commissioner for Water Resources Alhaji Arzika Tureta, said on Thursday that the government had spent N200 million to upgrade various rural water schemes across the state.

Tureta said in Sokoto that the schemes were upgraded to semi urban water status to ensure clean and potable water to the people.

According to him, the benefiting communities included Bulanyaki, Bangi, Alasan, Jabo, Birni Ruwa, Gulumbawa, Gatawa, Hamma’ali Bunkari, Lukuyawa, Kurawa, Badau, Modachi, Bakale, Rafin Sanyi Kubutta and Kokota villages.

The Commissioner called on the communities to imbibe the culture of safeguarding government property against vandals, adding that government would continue to implement policies and programmes that would enhance the well being of the people through the provision of infrastructure across the state.


Congratulations to the Sokoto State Government in its efforts to ensure that its rural population have access to potable water. However, one cannot but ask the following questions on the State’s  efforts:

  1. What are the sources of the water for the schemes that were upgraded?
  2. How many schemes were upgraded with N200 million?
  3. Does it mean that the schemes that were upgraded were supplying poor-quality water to the rural people because according to the State’s Commissioner for Water Resources the upgrading is supposed to bring these schemes “to semi urban status to ensure clean and potable water to the people.”?

It appears that Sokoto State Government did not involve the benefiting communities in its water supply efforts. If it did, it would have educated the communities about what would need to be done after the upgrading exercise, such as the need to safeguard the facilities rather than just drop a hint at the completion of the project.

Furthermore, it would have put in place institutions like  water consumers associations  that would have been given the responsibility for maintenance of the upgraded schemes.


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