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Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku Water Revolution in Taraba State

The Rescue initiatives of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has advanced towards a definite realization of its intended purpose, by putting his entire self into whatever concerns his people’s welfare. DDI’s appearance on Taraba’s landscape has been applauded by many as the best thing that has happened to the State bringing into cognizance the harrowing experience of socio-economic stagnation over the years. Tangible features of development that would have an impact on people’s lives were in trickles, in selected sectors and spread over long indefinite intervals.

The people seemed to have given up on any possibility of escaping from these state of affairs until they saw renewed hope in the advocacy of the Rescue Agenda. His perception of the poor state of activities in the state amidst abundance ignited in him the resolve to water the beautiful but dried landscape by restoring hope. Literally, water remains a cardinal objective of the rescue mission which the Rescue Captain and the African Development Bank are to expend Ten Billion Naira.

Prompt and Timely Rescue.

The cliché that water is life is practical and the use of water transcends all human activities from food production, processing to manufacturing and industrial use. Water is a fundamental human need. Studies indicate that each person on earth requires at least 20 to

Water Tank

450m3 Elevated Water Tanks in Wukari

50 liters of clean, safe water a day, for drinking, cooking, and simply keeping themselves clean. Water facilities in Jalingo have been in existence but in an epileptic state. Water pipes were practically obsolete and taps in homes were not functional. People turned to any available water source to meet household needs. The challenge is that what is available to a majority of people especially in rural areas, is polluted water which is not only dirty but deadly. Some 1.8 million people die every year of diseases like cholera. Tens of millions of others are seriously sickened by a host of water-related ailments—many of which are easily preventable.

The United Nations considers universal access to clean water a basic human right, and as an essential step towards improving living standards worldwide. Most communities in Taraba State are typically economically poor as well, their residents are trapped in the cycle of poverty.

Looking at the big picture of the Rescue Mission of DDI, any other thing will be a mirage without a healthy population. Virtually every sector of the society is linked to health. Education suffers when sick children miss school and so will it be when sick teachers fail to turn up at work. Economic opportunities are routinely lost to the impacts of rampant illness and the time-consuming processes of sourcing water where it is not readily available. Children and women bear the brunt of these burdens when so much time and energy is invested in the bid to provide water for the family.

Practically everything needs water to function beginning from humans, animals, and plants for hydration, the Agricultural sector, and industries that depend on water for food production. Sanitation is an equally important factor in healthy society and water is essential to realizing the objective. The absence of proper sanitation services not only breeds disease, it can also rob people of their basic human dignity.

Health scholars have argued that Nigeria is one of the countries in the world that has unsafe water supplies due to the uncoordinated efforts of various federal, state and local agencies. Given the low quality of drinking water in Nigeria, most Nigerians usually contact a waterborne illness. Studies have also shown that, when pollutants find their way into drinking water sources and are not eliminated by water treatment processes, it can make people sick. Some common causes have been attributed to lack of sanitation system, dilapidated pipes, contamination of running water in environments where human and wildlife use the same source of water.

State of the Art Laboratory, Taraba State Water Supply Agency.

The reality of the living condition of people became known to him during his campaign tour when he saw humans sharing water sources with pigs at Lau. From that moment, he was determined to change the story of Taraba once given the mandate. On the whole, Taraba State was dehydrated in multiple ways but the step to rehydration must begin somewhere – with potable water. By these considerations DDI, at first instance could not stand the sight of his people suffering due to lack of water so he called his first shot.

A cross section of the populace had different views at the beginning, some were optimistic about the rehabilitation exercise and had confidence on the government to deliver on campaign promises, others saw it as an avenue for government officials to embezzle funds and yet others were indifferent to the entire process. They preferred to watch as events unfold. However in few months, the story on the lips of everyone is the same as water flows steadily. Before now many persons who never saw the need to have pumps in their houses have been forced to have a rethink while others have shared testimonies on how they have been able to cut down on their spending as huge amounts being spent on buying water has been slashed out.

The DDI water revolution is a giant initiative, changing the lives of the people and wetting the ground for limitless socio-economic possibilities for Taraba State.   There has not been a better time than now that the water sector receives pragmatic and purposeful attention and support from the government.

So far, the following remarkable achievements have been recorded:

  • The repair of all broken down plants, pumps and equipment in all water supply stations of the state on assumption of office.
  • The restoration of water supply to Jalingo and 39 other towns through consistent release of funds to the State Water Supply Agency for the operation and maintenance of the State water supply systems.
  • Visit to the Country Director, African Development Bank Nigerian Field Office for collaboration and partnership towards meeting the State’s developmental stride. This has enabled the Governor to secure another support from African Development Bank towards improving rural water supply in the state.
  • The award of new contract for the Jalingo Primary Water Source to augment existing effort.
  • The payment of counterpart funds for JICA drilling rig which has been lying dormant for about two years.
  • The drilling of 100 boreholes in communities across the State.
  • The purchase of cutting–edge modern laboratory equipment for water quality control.
  • The purchase of water treatment chemicals to ensure good quality water that is safe for the people.
  • Study and benchmarking visit to Nairobi City and Sewage Corporation.
  • The purchase of 500 water pumps to support irrigation and dry season farming in the State.
  • Construction of 2 boreholes and dedicated water transmission pipeline to the Greenhouse site at College of Agric covering a distance of over 3km.
  • The passage of National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene policy document to establish the legal framework for water resources development in Taraba State.
  • The Gains of the Kenya Tour.

The passion of Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku to turn around Taraba’s socio-economic fortune has been at the centre of his activities since he assumed office on 29th May 2015. Keen observers have remarked that he hardly lets any opportunity pass by without looking out for possibilities to add value to the State and the people. He is always exploring new grounds and expanding his contact range to reach as many potential intervention agents as possible. With the Rescue captain, there is certainly no dull moment when it comes to his commitment to make good his promise of providing development in exchange for peace.

The Kenyan study tour and benchmarking exercise to the Nairobi City Water and Sewage Corporation was characteristically pedagogic, featured in presentation and participatory sessions, and visit to some leading water supply facilities of the Nairobi Water Supply and Sewerage Corporation as well as to the Thika Dam which serves as the main water supply source to the Corporation.

The interactive session placed in perspective the real needs, possibilities, challenges, projections and successes that will set Taraba State on track for realizing its goals in water provision. This firsthand interaction and practical tour of the water facilities is a major step for the team. Sharing their experience in the development and management of their water sources, distribution, billing, and deployment of modern technology for effective and efficient operations for self-sustainability and quality services presented the visiting team with first-hand narratives that efficient and sustainable water supply is achievable in Taraba State and it is the Ernest desire of the Rescue Captain to make the water system work in the manner they saw in Kenya.  Offshoots of the visit include the following:-

  • The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Taraba State Water Supply Agency and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Corporation, thus creating a platform for collaboration.
  • The government has worked out modalities to send about 50 personnel of the Taraba State Water Supply Agency on a Hands-on –Training to Nairobi City Water and Sewage Corporation to build capacity for the operation and maintenance of the water systems in Taraba State.
  • Governor Darius Ishaku has promised to support the TSWSA through the deployment of technology and innovations to help the agency achieve service efficiency. The government is also working with the African Development Bank to create an enabling environment for the operations of the State Water Agency through the review of existing laws to cater for the new outlook of the institution through institutional reforms and capacity building.
  • The Government is also considering the granting of autonomy to the TSWSA using the principle “Hands-off-Eyes-on”. They are working out modalities for a gradual withdrawal of government financial support for operation and maintenance, while they encourage the Water Supply Agency to stand on its own considering the fact that Water remains a huge revenue earner that can guarantee returns on investment if properly managed.

According to the Governor, Board of Directors comprising highly experienced individuals with a reputation would be appointed to give policy direction to the Agency. The Management of the State Water Supply Agency will be strengthened and repositioned for better performance. They shall sign performance contracts with the management with defined targets and deliverables to achieve in order to ensure accountability and commitment.

Jalingo Primary Water Supply Project.

Recently, a Town Hall Meeting on Taraba State Water reform Sector was held and all and sundry were present; All present commended the Timely Rescue and urged the Governor for sustainability, just like Oliver Twist they unanimously asked for more.
The General Manager of TSWSA, Hon. Musa Buba Siam thanked the Governor for his prompt and timely interventions, and his ever willingness to provide aids in terms of the need to the Water Sector of the State. He conformed to the genuinety of all listed landmarks by DDI in the Water Sector.

The Commissioner of Water Resources, Barr. Gowon Emmanuel Hallan on his own part shed light on the government intervention, he gave more revelations. In his words “The journey has not been easy, even though interesting. The person that turns the tap and sees water running does not understand the energy exerted in planning, construction and operating the system to enable water flow through the tap, but one that is involved in the complexities of the onerous tasks. I appreciate it now that I am involved”.

The Revolution that greeted the water sector in Taraba State has restored the hope of the common man as they now see for themselves what Abraham Lincoln defined as “Government of the people, by the people and for the people”. There is only one thing on the lips of everyone – Praise for Governor Darius Ishaku as he has indeed rescued all from the shackles of lack of portable water supply.  The Rescue Mission Agenda of the current Administration have indeed been made manifest in the Water sector and other areas which have made the people to constantly chant “Taraba, Sai Darius”.

It is indeed a time of accentuated activity for the Rescue captain as he explores all avenues, leaving no stone unturned in the process, to tell Taraba’s story and beckon on willing partners to come and join in the business of moving the State to an enviable height. It is the hope of all Tarabans that these seeds he is sowing will yield profitable results in the near future and posterity will remain grateful to him for the exploring and daring spirit embedded in this astute visionary.

Contributed by:

Sylvanus Y. Giwa
(Senior Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Taraba State on Media and Publicity)

Greenhouse Farm to Start Harvest Soon

Greenhouse Farm to Start Harvest Soon

Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has expressed satisfaction with the speedy work at the Greenhouse farm.

Governor Darius Ishaku was speaking when he inspected the Greenhouse farm at the college of Agriculture Jalingo.

He said Tarabans would soon start enjoying the Cucumber, Pepper, Tomato and lettuce when harvest starts in three weeks.

The Governor remarked that when the farm begins harvesting, Tarabans would get the desired effect of the farm.

Governor Darius Ishaku disclosed that the farm has the capacity of employing more than five hundred youths.

Also speaking, the site Manager James Uchenna assured Tarabans that by the next three weeks, they would start enjoying vegetables from the farm.

Commenting, Moses Nsikkai who spoke on behalf of the workers, thanked Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku for his support to Youths in the state, urging him to do more.

Commissioner of Agriculture, David Ishaya Kassa and other aides accompanied the Governor.

Pay Tax Regularly to Attract Projects, Gassol Communities Told

Pay Tax Regularly to Attract Projects, Gassol Communities Told

Grassroots inhabitants have been encouraged to ensure regular and prompt payment of taxes which will enable the state government to execute more developmental projects in their respective localities.

This encouragement was given  at a town hall meeting jointly organized by the Grassroots Rescue Watch and the Revenue Mobilization Committees for Gassol Local Government.

Gov. Ishaku and the rescue mission

Gov. Ishaku and the rescue mission

The Gassol town hall meeting had participants who were randomly selected from all the seventeen polling units of Gassol ward.

The participants were oriented and charged with the responsibility of monitoring, complementing and ensuring the success of all development projects embarked upon by the government within their respective domains.

They were also challenged to work round the clock in sensitizing their fellow dwellers on the significance of regular and prompt payment of tax which is among the major sources of government revenue.

In their separate submissions, the special Adviser to the Governor on grassroots matters who is also the chairman Rescue Watch Committee Gassol local government area,  Alhaji Abbas Umar Kaura as well as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Revenue Matters and chairman Revenue Mobilization Committee Gassol local government, Mr Luka Agyu Umar maintained that the more revenue that people generate, the more projects they should expect in their localities.

In consideration of its size and population, the Committee chairmen were quick to add that Gassol local government area remains the live wire for revenue generation in the state, and they were optimistic that the people of the area will continue to prove that.

Some speakers added their voices, calling on the people of Gassol to continue supporting the good policies and programmes of the state government under Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.

The committee members paid homage on the chief of Gassol, Alhaji Idris Yakubu Ciroma at his palace where they intimated the royal father of their mission and solicited for his fatherly blessings.

In his response, the traditional ruler assured them of all the needed support, stressing that the area is in urgent need of social amenities such as roads, water and electricity among the major ones.

The royal father lamented what he described as persistent security threats bedeviling the area, calling for a rapid intervention from the state government.

Ministry of Information and Reorientation and NUJ Information Chapel assures Lamdo Gashaka of support.

Ministry of Information and Reorientation and NUJ Information Chapel assures Lamdo Gashaka of support.

According to a popular saying, give honour to whom honour is due, it is based on this premise that the staff of the Ministry of information and Reorientation and the NUJ Chapel of the Ministry of information took it upon themselves to pay homage to the new Lamdo, Alhaji Zubairu Mohammadu Sambo in his palace, Gashaka Local Government Area.

The visit was to assure the new Lamdo Gashaka of their support and loyalty at all times, having been an honest, dedicated and diligent colleague to them and the Ministry.

The staff and officials of both the Ministry and the NUJ information Chapel were led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Taninga Danjuma, who told the new Lamdo that they were in his palace as a family to felicitate with him on his new assignment as a royal father of Gashaka Chiefdom.

Mr. Taninga Danjuma maintained that it is a thing of joy to the entire staff of the Ministry that one of their own is being raised to a first class traditional Ruler.

In his speech, the Chapel Chairman of the Information Chapel, Mr. Jeremiah Galumje said the chapel has formally come to felicitate with him and to assure him that the chapel will continue to honour and support him and stated that the Journalism profession in the State had never been so fortunate to have a member honoured to the exalted office of a Royal Father and urged him to display an unequalled high sense of leadership skills that will foster cohesion, tolerance and peaceful coexistence in his domain.

Galumje maintained that the Chapel benefited from his membership and loyalty and pointed out that it has become binding on all members of NUJ information Chapel to come and pay homage to the new Lamdo and to also put it in clear terms to the new Lamdo that the chapel and indeed the Ministry is proud of him and will stand with him at all times.

He posited that streamlining the activities of Ministry of Information and Reorientation is crucial so that it will be able to function efficiently and effectively in the Rescue Agenda of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku by proactively playing its role as the government resource center and mouthpiece.

The NUJ information Chapel Chairman also call on the new Lamdo to sustain the peace that Gashaka Local Government is known for and stressed that, as a tourist Haven, efforts should be intensified to ensure that people live in absolute peace and tranquillity.

Responding, the new Lamdo Gashaka, Alhaji Zubairu Mohammadu Sambo thanked the staff of the Ministry of Information and NUJ information Chapel for their show of love, solidarity and assured that he would lead the people of Gashaka rightly and with the fear of God in the stead of his late father.

Lamdo Zubairu Mohammadu Sambo said he is appreciative of the support he has received from the Ministry and the NUJ during his moment of grief up to the time he was appointed as a successor to his late father and prayed for the sustenance of the unquantifiable fraternity that has been the hallmark of the Chiefdom.

Highpoint of the visit was the presentation letters of congratulations from the Ministry of Information and Reorientation and NUJ information Chapel by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Taninga Danjuma which was witnessed by the NUJ state Council Chairman, Comrade Solomon Ajiduku.

Town Planners Solicit for More Involvement in Government Activities.

Officials of National Institute of Town Planners with the SSG.The National Institute of Town Planners of Nigeria Taraba State Chapter has been called upon to collaborate with the state Government with a view to giving Jalingo the Taraba State capital a befitting outlook.

This was contained in a message delivered by the Secretary To Taraba State Government, Anthony Jellason when the Institute members paid him a courtesy call as part activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Institute.

Anthony Jellason said celebrating 50th anniversary is not easy considering the difficulties the Institute faced up to this present moment and praised her for growing from strength to strength and commended the Taraba State Chapter for starting with just four members and today their membership has increased to 29.

He maintained that modalities would soon be worked out where Government will engage Town Planners positively in planning the environment as well correct some of the anomalies being faced in the citing of infrastructure.

The SSG pointed out that the task ahead is enormous and stressed that there is a serious encroachment on government properties in the state and added that even individuals are not spared from the phenomenon and challenged them to partner with relevant agencies to checkmate the trend.

Anthony Jellason suggested that on a day such as this, the activities should focus more on practical with a view to sensitizing the people on the importance of proper town planning and also assured the association that all their request would be forwarded to the Governor who is also a member of the Institute.

Officials of National Institute of Town Planners with the SSG.Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the National Institute of Town Planners Taraba State Chapter, Town Planner Jonah Febuins told the SSG that they are in his office to intimate him on the activities lined up for her 50th-anniversary celebration, which the grand finale is scheduled for 30th October to 1st November 2016 in Abuja.

Jonah Febuins revealed that the Institute started its activities in the state in 1991 with only four registered members but the numbers have risen to 29 and that second quota of 2017 has been earmarked to celebrate its existence in the state.

He enumerated some of the responsibilities of the Institute, which includes, physical development, development control, designs and layouts, preparation and implementation of master plans, preparation of environmental assessment report, preparation of site analysis reports and advocacy for individuals and communities among others.

The Chairman solicited for more involvement of Town planners in the state tertiary Institution such as College of Education, College of Agriculture and other related town planning agencies like SEMA and Ministry of Rural Development to ensure proper implementation and to guide physical development.

Jonah Febuins appealed for more engagement of Town planners in the state civil service for adequate performance and for good coverage of the 20 command areas of the state, requested for a bus to assist the union in attending conferences, seminars, workshops within and outside the state. He also solicited for a befitting office accommodation to afford members of the Institute the opportunity to be efficient and to enhance performance and productivity among members.

He reaffirmed the Institute’s determination to work with the Rescue Mission of Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku to succeed in the state.