By Kayode Adeoti
Residents of Offa in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State have continued to lament the scarcity of water in the community for the past three years.
According to our findings, people of the community have protested the shortage of water in the area to draw government’s attention, on few occasions.
Speaking with the Secretary General of Offa Descendant Union (ODU) home and abroad, Alhaja Aderonke Wasilat McCarthy last Friday, she confirmed the development to National Pilot saying, “the situation is worrisome having defiled stakeholders efforts for more than three years.
“It is heart rending knowing that water is essential to life. We can make substitution for other things but we can’t do same for water. The first thing any government should do is to take the welfare of its people seriously. But it is very unfortunate that we have the water dam that is moribund and thereby rendered useless.
“When we visited the place, we discovered that the pipes have worn out and were told that it should be changed every five years but those pipes have been there since the beginning of the Corporation. No changes were made on them till now. The Corporation does not even have alum or any purification chemical,” she lamented.
She also disclosed that most of the machines used to pump water have been vandalised and that there is no diesel to power the generator whenever there is no power supply.
McCarthy further said the few people who could sink boreholes in the community supply water to their environs.
“Three years ago, the water was pumped, but unfortunately it could not get to any household because the pipes are rust and the whole place was flooded. It has become essential commodity that when we see it wasting, we all rushed it and try to fix the pipes ourselves.”
Also, a resident of Omo-Owo area, who pleaded not to have his name in print, noted that series of letters have been forwarded to the State House of Assembly over the plight of the people of the community with no positive response.
He stressed that the impact of the money earmarked for the project in the bailout fund received last year by the state has not been felt.
“In Offa now, if you want to have access to water, it is either you drill borehole or well depending on your financial capability,” he said.
But, Femi Adebayo of Offa Grammar School (OGS) has a divergent view, saying he got supply of water at his residence on many occasion this year. He however confirmed that some areas have not gotten the supply for some years probably due to distance.
Reacting, the General Manager of Kwara State Water Corporation, Tunde Omoniyi described the claim of shortage of water in the community as untrue saying Offa Water Works is still in operation.
He said, “It is not true that the Corporation has not been working for the past three years but that is not to say there are no challenges confronting it.
According to him, the major problem of the Corporation is the unstable power supply, which has made the pumping of water difficult.
Omoniyi added that the House of Assembly is aware of the situation and it will be addressed in due time.
He said the River Basin Authority has intervened twice just to ensure that it produces and supply water to Offa and Ijagbo communities.
The Water Corporation boss noted that there are two power plants in Offa Water Works servicing Offa, Ijagbo, Ipee and Igosun.