From Victor Gai, Jalingo
The Taraba State Water Supply Agency (TSWS) has been given an additional mandate of liquid waste management which includes domestic, industrial and commercial waste. Also, effort at amending the law establishing the agency is before the legislature.
This was disclosed to THE NIGERIA STANDARD by the General Manager, Engr. Isa Buba Siam, in an exclusive interview in Jalingo.
According to Siam, “our new mandate is to do water supply to urban centres, talking about towns with population of above 20,000. Then we have additional mandate to do liquid waste management. By liquid waste management, we are talking about waste water that emanate from domestic, commercial and industrial activities”.
He disclosed that when the waste is treated in a centrally located treatment centre, many value chains can be derived.
“From the treatment, we can generate manure, we can do recycled water and many others”, he disclosed.
However, the General Manager described the sanitation situation in Jalingo the State capital, as “below expectation” with a potential danger to the environment. “Go to Mile six, immediately after the TSBS, you will see an open field where solid waste is being dumped. The place has become an open toilet for people to patronize. Now, there is an environmental danger there. Flies would go there; rodents and creeping animals would go there. That place is located within the city. They can easily go to people’s homes and contaminate food, water and then when it rains, you will see so many things; stench and odour would be oozing out from that point and we have such points littered across the city, where you have people taking advantage of such places for open defecation”, he revealed.
Siam therefore called for something to be done urgently in order to avoid the impending danger.
On the menace of open defecation, he stated that citizens and government have roles to play. According to Siam, “the populace would have to do things thinking of our dignity, our respect and the impact on our health”, while also calling on government to initiate a campaign towards sensitising the populace on the dangers of open defecation.
He also added by saying government can support by providing toilet facilities at strategic places where people can patronize at a token so that the facilities can be maintained.
Meanwhile, the law establishing the Taraba State Water Supply Agency is presently before the State Legislature for amendment. When successfully amended, it shall be known as the Taraba State Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, in line with its new mandate and the general objectives of enhancing urban water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the State.