The Federal Government has announced its readiness to partner
Bayelsa State to ensure adequate provision of safe water for
residents of the state.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, stated
this when she received the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr.
Seriake Dickson, in her office in Abuja.
Ochekpe said the Federal Government had realised that to meet
the Millennium Development Goals there was need to increase
collaboration with state governments.
She said it was in this regard that the ministry recently held a
meeting with all state commissioners for water resources to
strengthen the cooperation between the states and the Federal
Government to achieve the objective of adequate provision of
safe water.
According to her, another meeting with the Nigeria Governors’
Forum is being planned to solicit the governors’ support.
He told the governor that work was progressing on the Otuoke
water project, which extended to 13 communities, and other
similar projects being handled by the ministry in the state.
Although Ochekpe lamented the setback suffered by the Otuoke
water project as a result of flood of last year, he said that the
project would soon be completed and by July this year, the
people of Otuoke and other adjoining communities would start
to enjoy the water.
She said, “We are sorry that in Bayelsa State you have so much
water around you but no fresh water because of the effect of
pollution. Government is doing everything possible through our
Niger Delta River Basin Authority to support you and ensure
adequate provision of water for the people in the area.”
On the interest shown by the Bayelsa State Government to take
over the rice farm project at Peremabiri, Ochekpe said, “We will
collaborate with you but we will not hand over the project.”
Earlier, Dickson had said the state government alone could not
provide water without the support of the Federal Government.
He said, “I am here to solicit your support in technical terms;
we need to tap into the expertise of your ministry, my
government intends to do a lot this year in the area of water.”
Dickson explained that measures were being taken by his
government to prevent the reoccurrence of flood as experienced
in the state last year.
According to him, two committees had been set up to enable
government prepare effective response, adding that his
administration intends to embark on massive rice farming this
year to boost the state’s economy.




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