Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti, has declared an emergency in the state’s water sector.
He made the announcement in Ikun Ekiti, Moba local government area of the state, where he had gone to kick-start the water rehabilitation project at Ero Dam to supply water to many major towns in the state.
The governor promised to take legal and institutional steps to make the state open defecation free before 2030.
He said the people must be saved from preventable illnesses through the provision of potable water.
Fayemi said statistics had shown that water supply to urban cities and rural areas in the country had reduced by 15 and four percent respectively, in spite of geometric increase in the population.
The governor added that the state had already paid N700 million counterpart fund to complete the project that was approved by the World Bank in 2014.
He said: “It was because of the safety of the citizens that the federal government declared emergency in WASH. So, Ekiti has keyed into the programme with this project.
“Ekiti was ranked second in Nigeria as a state that practised open defecation. We shall put up institutional and legal frameworks to ensure Ekiti is open defecation-free before 2030.
“Part of what accounted for this high practice was because of low water supply to our homes.
“We are making our traditional rulers as champions that would canvass for open defecation-free and if we are going to stop our palaces from digging boreholes here and there, we as government should provide water to our people.
“We have done our feasibility studies, 85 percent of our water in Ekiti shall be provided by Ero and Egbe dams if they operate at optimal capacity.”
The governor assured that affordable tariff would be charged by government and that such would be metred to prevent extortion.