Lagos to resuscitate five mini waterworks through USAID-funded intervention

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Lagos State Government is on the verge of resuscitating five micro and mini waterworks to improve access and availability of safe, climate resilient water in five underserved communities across the State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed on Tuesday.

The Governor said the procurement process for the rehabilitation of the waterworks projects was underway, with the bidding procedure expected to conclude at the end of June after which the contractors would be mobilised to sites.

Sanwo-Olu shared the details of the projects with the Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria, Melissa Jones, who paid a courtesy visit to the Governor at the State House in Marina.

The meeting focused on evaluation of projects being jointly managed across areas of partnership.

The U.S. development agency is supporting the Lagos Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (LUWASH) programme, with a five-year intervention grant to scale up capacity for the supply of safe water in five communities in Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu said the timeline for the rehabilitation of the projects would be determined after contractors would have been mobilised to sites.

The Governor said ongoing restructuring being undertaken in the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) was part of the steps by the State Government to refocus the objectives of the firm towards realising its statutory mandate, stressing that the growth plan of the public corporation was to build technical capacity to meet public water demand.

He said: “One of the areas we are collaborating with the USAID is Water Resources and Sanitation. We have since identified waterworks projects within the metropolis that are strategic to our shared interests. We have since identified five micro and mini waterworks projects in underserved communities for immediate rehabilitation.

“The tender process is ongoing now, but I have given the charge to the Managing Director to speed up the process, so that we can get to the field and our partners can see the outcome of this intervention. The effort has also led to reforms in the Lagos Water Corporation, where we have painfully downsized.

“To boost the corporation’s efficiency, we had to bring in young technical staff that are capable and relevant to the growth plan. The sector experts working with our team are beginning to see the results. We are now building alot more responsible Water Corporation set up to meet its demands. The moment we get water supplies well, issues around sanitation will be resolved.”

Sanwo-Olu intimated the USAID boss with the plan by the State Government to roll out 150 public toilets across Lagos, noting that the design was at the final stage. This, he said, is one of the ways being explored by the Government to address challenges associated with sanitation.

The Governor assured the envoy of his administration’s readiness to deepen the relationship with the international agency, saying the USAID interventions committed to other areas of collaboration had been impactful.

“I believe our partnership is working and the objectives of the USAID are met. We are open to knowledge sharing to raise the life quality and ensure that the partnership is mutual,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Jones, who was accompanied by Consul General of the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Will Stevens, commended the Health Insurance initiative of the Lagos State Government, noting that the rollout of the insurance policy had raised the State’s rank in development index.

She expressed USAID’s willingness to partner and provide more support for the insurance scheme in order to make it better and more accessible.

Jones also spoke about partnerships being developed around nutrition programmes in Nigeria, disclosing that the effort would be led by a Nollywood actor, Chioma Akpota, who was recently appointed by USAID as its goodwill ambassador.

 

 

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