The Bauchi State Government is to benefit from a World Bank loan facility to the tune of $65 million to upgrade the Bauchi Water Supply Scheme towards the provision of adequate potable drinking water for its growing population.
Under the arrangement, the government is to up-grade the equipment of Gubi dam especially the power generating plants, provision of 50 kilometres of pipeline to replace the old ones, as well as additional 100 kilometres of pipe to boost water reticulation within the metropolis.
The State Commissioner of Water Resources, Dr. Bappah Azare, told the media in Bauchi that the State Executive Council has ratified the agreement and the multi-million World Bank funds would flow into the state next month.
The agreement, which has a counter-part funding from the state government to the tune of $6.5 million with an implementation period of six years, will also see to the provision of Feeder Power Line to the Gubi Dam, source of the Bauchi metropolis water supply scheme. Azare explained that the agreement entails the signing by the State Governor, Isa Yuguda of irrevocable standing order to the Federal Ministry of Finance that would signify acceptance or confirmation of deduction at source from the state account allocation to augment the loan agreement.
Other requirements under the agreement include information through a resolution of the State House of Assembly that Bauchi is willing to pay within the loan period the counter-part funding as the law provides in the World Bank transactions.
They want an assurance or resolution that as the law provides in World Bank transactions a provision for counterpart funding and Bauchi state has to pay 10 per cent of the facility, Azare added. He said as part of the agreement the name Bauchi state Water Board has already been changed to Bauchi State Water and Sewage Corporation, as implementation is by the State Ministry of Water Resources under the chairmanship of the commissioner.
Azare assured stakeholders that with the successful implementation of the World Bank loan Agreement, places or areas that have little or no water would get adequate potable drinking water. Gubi dam power supply plants planted almost two decades ago have been over-stretched with the provision of 12.5 million gallons of water per day for public consumption as against the present demand of about 70 million gallons per day.