In a quest to provide sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to meet the cultural and socio-economic needs of all Nigerians and maintaining the integrity of fresh water ecosystem of the nation, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, today concluded the 2019 Annual Review Workshop for FGN/JICA Assisted Rural Water Supply Program which was held from 6th to 8th August 2019 at Command Guest House Bauchi State.

The keynote Address was presented by the Programme Coordinator and Assistant Director, Collaboration and Partnerships; Mr. Adebayo A.J. on behalf of the Director, Water Supply and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources who were both unavoidably absent due to other official engagements. She highlighted the aim of the workshop which were to appraise the status and challenges of the programme in the ten (10) JICA Focal States and to also use the workshop as a platform for Peer Review and exchange of knowledge among beneficiaries of the Programme.

She also enumerated some positive impacts of the project ranging from increased access to portable water supply especially in the rural communities and affected States

Mrs Ekaro C. also made a special appeal to the State Governments to adequately fund RUWASSA projects and encouraged RUWASSAs to take advantage of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Centre (RWSSC) established by JICA in NWRI.

The Bauchi State Permanent Secretary/ General Manager RUWASSA Mr. Garuba Magaji, urged participants to brainstorm and map strategies for successful and sustainable implementation of projects.

According to Magaji, ” Bauchi State benefited from Japan Grant-in-Aid in 2010 and therefore considered the opportunity to host the workshop as a privilege”. Participants should take advantage of the attainment of WASH SDG workshop, he added.

JICA-Nigeria Chief Country Representative Mr. Sadiq Gulma during his goodwill message, expressed great delight in the manner for which FMWR organised this workshop. The JICA Consultant informed the meeting that JICA is focusing on Rural Water Supply and as a result, a mission team from Japan will be visiting Nigeria by September to assess the status of WASH in the Rural Areas. Part of the objectives of the visit is to see how JICA can support her project States with the procurement of more borehole equipment. He equally informed the meeting that JICA is organizing a capacity building training in Ethiopia and Malawi and will sponsor a nominee from each country. He assured the States that opportunity will be provided for every State RUWASSA to sponsor their personnel to the training. According to him, ” JICA is requesting to know the status of JICA’s equipment and budget releases from each state. Assured the ministry that JICA will continue to support Bauchi State RUWASSA to secure clearance for their newly imported drilling equipment.

Mr Kenneth Ogbonna, an Assistant Chief Hydrologist commended the efforts of the state RUWASSA and GM in making the programme a success and appreciated the state for hosting this year’s workshop. A total of 52 participants drawn from the FMWR, JICA Representative, General Managers and staff of State Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Agencies from 6 beneficiary States of Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Ondo, Taraba and Yobe were in attendance. Also in attendance were reporters from different media houses ranging from Albarica FM, Globe FM Bauchi, NAN, Leadership Newspapers and Bauchi TV.

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