Lagos needs $3.5bn to execute Water Master Plan

Posted by News Express | 11 April 2016 | 2,855 times

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The Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) will need 3.5 billion dollars to execute the Water Master Plan to construct additional large water schemes by 2020 to cover the state,

The former Managing Director, Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC), Mr Shayo Holloway, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the current water production by the corporation stood at 210 million gallons per day (MGD).

According to him, this leaves a shortfall or deficit of 330 million gallons per day, even if the total water assets available in the state run at 100 per cent efficiency.

He said that to address the current water demand and meet the projection of the near future, the corporation developed a Water Master Plan to construct additional large water schemes by 2020.

Holloway said that the plan would involve taking raw water from rivers and lagoons for treatment into potable water.

“This plan will take the state from its current 210 million gallons per day to 745 million gallons per day (MDG).

“The corporation will need $3.5 billion to execute the Water Master Plan.

“This is an investment which the state cannot solely undertake, as it will take it two-and-half years to fund, with every Naira inflow going into the water sector only.

“That is why the state seeks to partner with the private sector to accelerate the development of water infrastructure with private capital, to make water available.”

He, however, said that the state government had commenced the implementation of the master plan, with the ongoing construction of Adiyan Phase 2, being funded by the state.

He said that when completed in 2016, it would add 70 million gallons per day to the existing 210 million gallons per day.

Holloway said that the state government had also completed the Otta-Ikosi water works to serve 11 towns between Ikorodu and Epe.

He said the indiscriminate drilling of boreholes will stop once the water master plan was completed.

According to him, it is morally wrong to start enforcing the law on boreholes when majority of the areas do not have access to water from the mains.

“For now, the long-term goal of the master plan is to ensure water runs in front of houses, so that people will not need to take water three houses away from theirs.

“The Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Office of Public Private Partnership, Lagos State Water Regulatory Agency and Lagos State Ministry of Justice, were involved in the process.”

Holloway said that the master plan would address the current water deficit of 330 million gallons per day, and the about 29 million projected Lagos State population in 2020, with a water demand of 733 million gallons per day.

However, a water expert and member of the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), Lagos Mainland Chapter, Mr Taofik Adeosun, said that potable water is scarce in the state.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that most areas outside the old Lagos relied 100 per cent on boreholes for water.

“Like in Jakande Estates (Low Cost Housing Estates) almost all the houses have boreholes.

“Those that do not have boreholes depend on water vendors, who still buy from those selling water from their boreholes.”

According to him, safety of the water from the boreholes depends on location.

Adeosun said that majority of the borehole water were good, but those that could afford them have water treatment plants too.

According to NAN survey, potable water supply to areas serviced by the Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC), especially old Lagos has been efficient.

This does not mean that there are no occasional disruptions for maintenance or in the face of acute power failure and fuel scarcity.

Conversely, areas that have problems or yet to be connected to the water pipes rely mainly on boreholes or water vendors.

Water supply in most parts of Surulere is low due to the fact they derived their supply from the water board mains.

Most residential homes now depend on borehole water provided by individuals.

Water scarcity is more pronounced, due to the epileptic power supply from the power distribution companies coupled with the lingering fuel scarcity, being experienced in the state.

Mr Oladimeji Muse, General Secretary, Nigeria Water and Sanitation Association (NIWASA), called on the state government to increase the supply of potable water and distribution network.

Muse said that the expansion and distribution of the water network would help to reduce the stress residents are experiencing on water supply in the state.

“It will be better for the state government to enlarge the water work scope to produce more water and increase the distribution network.

“It is also advisable to change the old pipes that carry water from the mains; most of the pipes are broken, rusty and exposed to the underground water of the drains and gutters, thereby contaminating the water supply to the residents.

“As association, we do sensitisation to the importance of providing potable water, and the need to ensure that residents pay for the water supply services, and to also ensure that treated is supplied.

“There is need for government to monitor those into borehole business and to ensure strict compliance to the procedures.” (NAN)


Source: News Express

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