By Akinmuleya, Oluwaferanmi
Water is life, and it plays an important role in the survival of all humans. The provision of water in sufficient quantity for the world population has been a herculean task for most countries across the globe. Recently, the United Nations World Water Development Report, revealed that, without significant global policy change, the world would only have 60% of the water it needs by 2030. This report is instructive, and apprises us of the fact that we must double our efforts to tackle the problem of inadequate water, not only in Nigeria, but also in the whole world.
The water supply in Lagos State, and the attendant successes and challenges since the creation of the State under every successive administration has been faced with similar challenges owing to so many factors vis-à-vis population explosion, power, water wastage, aging infrastructures, and right pricing, among others
Today, the exponential population of Lagos State is over 22 million, and projected to hit 29 million by 2020, and the installed water capacity presently is 210 MGD (Million Gallons per Day), while the water demand is 540 MGD. The implication is that, the water demand by year 2020 , will be 733 MGD. It is estimated that 86 immigrants enter Lagos every hour – the highest in any city in the world. This shows that Water demand will continue to outweigh supply.
To meet the current shortfall and projected water demand, the Lagos Water Corporation developed a Lagos Water Supply Master Plan in 2010 as a “Road Map” to take Lagos to 745 million gallons per day in line with the target by year 2020.
Faced with this reality, in implementing the LWS Master Plan, the present administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has approved immediate construction of 100MGD Odomola Water Scheme to serve the corridor of Victoria Island down to Epe, (Badore, Igbo Efon, Lekki, Ajah) and other communities in that Axis. This is part of the immediate response to the provision of safe drinking water in sufficient and regular quantity to Lagosians in consonance with the Lagos Water Supply Master Plan.
The Odomola project would be executed on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, although there have been arguments and misconceptions from various quarters that PPP is synonymous to Privatization, Public Private Partnership initiative is entirely different from privatization. If it is privatization, it is total divestment, but PPP is an injection of fresh funds into the efficient management of government owned assets. It is the inclusion of the private sector in the development agenda of the Lagos State government in order to alleviate poverty and accelerate service delivery, in an effective and efficient manner for sustainability and socio-economic development of Lagosians. It is not profit driven, but a long-term investment that will guarantee protection of Lagosians’ interest.
In the renewed efforts of the Government to ensure that Lagos is water crisis free, and to meet the present water demand, the Lagos State Government has embarked on a great number of projects which involves reticulation and expansions of mains to increase water production and supply across the State.
The Adiyan major Waterworks is currently supplying 70MGD and as part of expansion programs, the government has commenced on the construction of Adiyan Phase II of 70MGD, and when the reticulation is completed, it will serve additional 3 million residents of Lagos State.
There is ongoing rehabilitation and expansion projects in different parts of Lagos, this involves replacement of pipes and mains expansion to boost water supply. Some of the benefiting communities include: Surulere, Itire, Yaba/Ebute-Metta, Iwaya and Victoria Island. The State is presently commencing expansion of mains to Ogudu Ori-Oke from Alapere, when completed will serve over ten thousand households.
The Lagos State has placed much priority on water sector, as part of the State’s Tripod Agenda for Lagos prosperity, and is highly committed to ensuring that water gets to everyone in the State. That is why the present administration has continued to invest heavily in Water facilities, as evidenced in the Golden Jubilee budget of 2017.
The present administration recently commissioned Mosan – Okunola mini waterworks (2MGD), serving Abesan, Baruwa and Other neighbourhood community, the Otta-Ikosi regional Water scheme of 4(MGD) capacity, currently supplying over 10 communities, such as Ado, Agbowa, Ago -Hausa, Ago- Owu, Ajebon orugbo, Iganke, Ikosi, Odo Ayandelu and Otta Ikosi.of the State and the Ishasi Waterworks has just been upgraded to produce 4(MGD).
There is an ongoing massive rehabilitation of 48 mini water works across Lagos State to increase production and boost water supply. These are Surulere, Onikan, Lekki, Badore, Ajagbandi, Ikeja, Ikate, Ikorodu, Epe, V.I Annex, Bariga, Oworonshoki, Ijora-Badia, Apapa, Iponri, Oshodi, Ikoyi, among others. When completed, these will boost water supply to that axis. Also, there is ongoing rehabilitation exercise at the major Waterworks of Iju, Adiyan and Akute Intakes for efficient service delivery in Lagos State.
To mark the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the State, Imeke-Iworo, Surulere, Ishasi and Abule-Egba mini waterworks will soon be commissioned. Presently, the State has embarked on the installation of pre-paid meters in Lekki and Ikeja, and additional 15,000 units to be deployed to Surulere, Itire, Yaba/ Ebute-Meta, Iwaya, Victoria Island, Victoria Island Annex and Lecky, to reduce water wastage and unaccounted for water, and also make water available to other customers.
Also, Nodal meters have been deployed into water distribution networks for better efficiency and management of water supply in different parts of Lagos. These meters will be fitted with telemetry devices for real time remote monitoring and management.
As part of the administration’s efforts towards improvement and reform of water supply services in the State, the Government has introduced Geographical Information System (GIS) to rejig operational efficiency and management of water supply system and other facilities.
In the past years, erratic power supply has been a serious challenge to production and supply of water in the State, but the present administration has continued to work relentlessly to ensure uninterrupted power supply to major waterworks. The State has provided alternatives such as diesel powered generators, as a source of power supply, to keep the water facilities running in order to guarantee regular production and supply of water to the residents of Lagos State.
Considering the unprecedented and pragmatic approach towards massive rehabilitation and expansion of facilities in water sector, it is evident that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is highly committed to the provision of uninterrupted water and ensuring that the demand gap of water supply in Lagos will be met sooner than expected.
Akinmuleya, Oluwaferanmi, Head, Corporate Communications