… As FG inaugurates 3.5 km road linking Gusau with rural communities***
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday said it has approved a new Water Strategy for 2021-2025.
In a statement issued in Abidjan, the bank titled the five-year water strategy as: “Towards a Water-Secure Africa’’ and said it was approved on Nov. 17.
It aims to increase water security in Africa and to foster its sustainable, green and inclusive socio-economic growth and development.
Dr Beth Dunford, the bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, said it was a significant milestone for the bank.
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This, he explained, was in terms of regarding water development and sanitation as key components to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
She said the strategy would help the bank to expand its role as the continent’s partner while promoting integrated development and management of Africa’s water sector.
The strategy is expected to guide AfDB’s implementation of its policy on water, which it approved earlier in 2021.
The water strategy’s four pillars underscore the importance of water and sanitation for socio-economic development; sustainability, resilience, and inclusivity; food production, nutrition and hydropower.
It aligns with the bank’s high fives and thus contributes also to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Osward Chanda, the bank’s Director for Water Development and Sanitation was quoted as saying that water is a key enabler for many of the United Nations’ SDGs.
“The bank considers water to be essential for life, health, dignity, empowerment, environmental sustainability, peace and prosperity,’’ he said.
The bank said that more than 100 of its stakeholders provided inputs to develop the strategy, which the board lauded as exemplary.
The bank recalled that since 2010, it has invested an estimated 6.2 billion dollars in water supply and sanitation services.
It recalled also that as at the end of October 2021, its active water sector portfolio stood at 5.02 billion dollars.
This, it said, comprised 104 projects implemented in 40 countries and five multinational projects.
In another development, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) inaugurated a 3.5-kilometer rural road linking Gusau and Gurgurau Village in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara on Thursday.
The newsmen report that the project was inaugurated by the Zamfara Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibo.
Speaking at the event at Gurgurau, Jibo commended the Federal Government for the project and described it as a welcome development.
“This is one of the projects needed to promote rural agriculture. We are happy to witness this occasion and it gives me great pleasure to be assigned to commission this project.
“This project will promote farmers’ socio-economic activities and address security challenges facing our communities,’’ he said.
The commissioner appealed to the Federal Government to consider completing the remaining 2.5 kilometers of the road to Karazau Village to allow more communities to benefit from the gesture.
In his remarks, the Director in charge of the Zamfara office of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Musa Raji, said the project was part of the Federal Government’s project on rural development.
Raji said part of the ministry’s mandate was to make access roads linking farm clusters with towns.
“This is to enable farmers to evacuate their farm produce to markets.
“This is in addition to various projects executed in the state by the ministry like rural roads in Bukkuyum, Gummi and Kaura Namoda local government areas.
“Other projects executed by the ministry in the state include rural solar street lights and provision of potable water for rural dwellers,’’ Raji explained.
The Director commended the state government through the state’s ministry of agriculture for its collaboration with the federal ministry to promote agricultural activities in Zamfara.
“I am using this medium to thank the commissioner for agriculture in the state for honouring our invitation to inaugurate this project,’’ he said.
Alhaji Raji had earlier inaugurated a groundnuts processing plant constructed by the ministry in Damba community in Gusau Local Government Area as part of its projects to empower women through small agricultural businesses.
The village head of Gurgurau community, Malam Haruna Musa, commended the Federal Government for the project.
Musa said the road had reduced farmers’ hardship in transporting their produce to markets as well as transporting of patients, especially pregnant women to hospitals.