May 20, 2024

Members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly and representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation have expressed grave concern over the insufficient funding allocated to the WASH sector.

During the state annual budget review for Bauchi, Adamawa, and Gombe States Houses of Assembly Committees on Health, Education, and Water Hygiene Sanitation (WASH) in Abuja, Lawmakers shed light on the dire state of the WASH sector, attributing it to the meager budgetary allocations.

The Commissioner for the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Emmanuel Piridimso revealed that numerous irrigation systems and treatment plants in Adamawa are non-functional, performing at less than 30% capacity due to funding shortages.

Despite budgetary provisions, inadequate funding has left communities without sufficient access to water.

He added that the intervention of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) repaired some pumps in Yola, significantly improving water accessibility.

Emmanuel explained that challenges persist, particularly in distribution networks, where unauthorized connections hinder water flow to overhead tanks for proper distribution.

He stated that budgetary discrepancies further exacerbate the situation, with substantial disparities between allocated funds and actual disbursements.

He said: “For instance, in 2022, the Ministry of Water Resources received a budget allocation of 250 million naira, yet no funds were released, and in 2023, out of over 3 billion naira budgeted, only 91 million naira was disbursed.

“Also at the state water board, the budgetary figure for 2022 is 167 million, and 107 million was released. In 2023, about 215,000,000 million was budgeted and only 13,000,000 actual funds were released.

“In rural water supply in environmental sanitation, budgetary provision for 2022 is 29,900,000 and no penny was released. While in 2023, they budgeted 160,000,000 and no fund released.”

Shafa Salma, Secretary of Basic Education Group maintained that the plight of rural communities is particularly distressing, with villages lacking clean water access, and some devoid of boreholes altogether.

Lawmakers urged Adamawa Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and his commissioners to prioritize funding for the water and hygiene sector, advocating for the conversion of electricity-powered boreholes to solar-powered ones for affordability and sustainability.

While commending certain assembly members for constituency projects such as solar and hand boreholes, there’s a call for sustainable maintenance mechanisms.

Nneka Egbuna, communications specialist, highlighted the role of the State Accountability, Transparency, and Effectiveness (State2State) Activity, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Operating in seven states, including Adamawa, the project aims to enhance governance transparency and effectiveness for improved service delivery, particularly in the education, health, and WASH sectors.

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