The World Bank Mission in Nigeria has applauded the Ondo State government’s adopted model of hand pump boreholes rehabilitation under Kamomi Aketi water scheme aimed at bridging the access gap in the rural water supply and sanitation in the state.

The World Bank Mission led by Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, Mr. Anthonio Rodriguez Serrano who visited the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, specifically commended the governor for his Kamomi Aketi water scheme which has provided water access to rural communities across the state, saying the team was impressed by the development.

He revealed that the team was in the state to know and learn from the laudable experience which has been adopted as a model by Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

So far, Kamomi Aketi water scheme through RUWASSA has repaired no fewer than 955 hand pump boreholes to the rural communities across the state.

Anthonio also said World Bank was also looking at how to assist the country to address issue of open defecation through provision of water scheme.

He added that, the World Bank through the federal ministry of water resources is providing the sum of 350 million dollars to support the water project across the country.

He particularly lauded the state for being one of the states that signed the P-Wash protocol and government’s various efforts aimed providing water to the rural communities.

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu while welcoming the team to the state, said when his administration came on board over two years ago, water project has been one of the focus of his administration.

He added that before he came in record had it that there were so many abandoned boreholes across the state which needed to be rehabilitated while so many other areas were not even covered at all.

Akeredolu disclosed that since the intervention of his government through RUWASSA, the people of the state have continued to feel the positive impact of RUWASSA through the provision of drinkable water in every nook and cranny of the state,  just as he lauded the chairman of RUWASSA and her team for the harmonious working relationship which has made the wonderful job easy for them.

He noted that the development has also impacted on the health of the citizenry as they are now getting water from the pump as against the stream which is not hygienic.

He further hinted that the government, through the provision of rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene is also making the state open defecation free.

Akeredolu further solicited the support of the World Bank in the project. He also used the occasion to appreciate the support received from the Federal Minister of Water Resources.

He said his administration signed the P-Wash protocol because his government believed in importance of water to mankind, saying clean water is life.

The representative of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Ajia Jummai Umar Wakaso noted that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources established the P-Wash Programme called Partnership for the expanded rural water supply, Sanitation and hygiene as an intervention programme to deliberate look at the rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene for support.

“Thereafter, the P-wash programme was launched in November 2016 by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo. Following the launch, only 23 states in Nigeria signed into the P-Wash protocol for which Ondo state is one and since then the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has been piloting the programme,” she said.

Jumai explained that what makes Ondo State to be unique in the P-Wash programme was a result of massive infrastructural development in terms of rehabilitation of hand-pump boreholes through ‘Kamomi Aketi’ integrated water scheme’ being piloted through RUWASSA for the rural areas ,using the state-owned resources.

She described the development as very commendable hence the Federal Ministry of Water Resources adopted Ondo State  model of hand pump boreholes rehabilitation and released the sum of N100 million in January as counterpart funding under P-Wash 40-40-20 arrangement to support the state in providing 1, 230 hand pump boreholes.

She described the state model of rehabilitation as worthy of emulation.

According to her, what  makes P-Wash programme unique is that fact that it is looking at both water supply, sanitation and hygiene holistically rather than handling different components of Wash separately in bridging the gap, saying that the World Bank is impressed with the programme and the Ondo State policy in that direction.

Earlier, Chairman, Ondo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, RUWASSA, Mrs. Yetunde Adeyanju, who  recalled that at the inception of the present administration, water access in the state was 4%, explained that with the introduction of ‘Kamomi Aketi’ aspiration water scheme by the state governor, 803 boreholes were repaired within a year.

“In the month of August 2018, at the National Water Council in Abuja, Kamomi Aketi Aspiration Water Scheme was adopted by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources as a standard for the sustainability of Rural Water and Sanitation in Nigeria, with which we were supported with rehabilitation of 1, 230 boreholes rehabilitation, out of the over  7, 600 nonfunctional boreholes across Ondo state.

“As at today, we have repaired 955 boreholes in the ongoing exercise ”  she stressed.