The Looming Water Scarcity In Osun State

The turbulence and life-threatening cause by the ineptitude and maladministration of the Olagunsoye Oyinlola ‘administration’ in Osun State continues unabated. The latest in any increasing saga of nightmares is the deterioration in the water supply situation in Osun State.

Water, said the great icon, Afro-beat exponent, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, ‘no get enemy’. Uncharacteristically in this instance, Fela got it wrong. For, as usual, defied the trend and indeed commonsense, the Osun State caretaker government has declared war on water. Those in the know in the state have started to admonish the long-suffering citizens on Osun State to ‘start preserving their streams and well water in anticipation of looming water scarcity in the state’. Amazing is this not? A causative reason for this looming human disaster is that 250 metric tons of industrial alum earlier supplied is about to be exhausted!

The main culprit, of course, as usual is the famed administrative ineptitude of the ‘come and chop’, Oyinlola’s maladministration. It is hardly-surprising that a government based on the ethos of ‘paddy-paddy government’ lumbers on, from one disaster to another. In this instance, a contractor who was asked to supply 6,000 metric tons of the industrial alum needed for production, could not supply more than 250 metric tons for water treatment at Ede Water Works.

In this instance, the contractor clearly had his wits around him. For, if the Appeal Court rules against Oyinlola in the well-chronicled elections petition tribunal, he could be holding a lot of bad debt. For this reason, 75 per cent of the communities and settlements in the state have no access to potable water. All this return to the stone Age is happening if we care to remember, is happening in the year of the Lord 2008.

The sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo must be turning in his gave. The great man’s government had been pivotal in the 1950’s in providing infrastructure to the nooks and crannies of the erstwhile Western region! It is a crying shame that the Oyinlola imposition cannot maintain this simple process. After all, no one is asking them to re-invent the wheel. If the 6,000 metric tons had been supplied, it would have helped to keep things moving for a considerable number of months. 250 metric tons, frankly is a pathetic drop in the ocean of needs.

Not surprisingly, the Osun State Ministry of ‘Water Resources’ is flat broke, for funds needed to supply clean safe drinking water has been squandered on white elephant projects, automobiles and undoubtedly wine, women and praise-singers. These have been the nonexclusive of Oyinlola’s bizarre interpretation of the processes of government. This should not surprise us. For the man who could not tar roads in Lagos, can hardly be expected to supply water in less endowed Osun State. Cry the beloved Osun State!

With taps running out everywhere, the risk of epidemics is very high. The situation, becomes more bothersome when it is taken into cognizance that Oyinlola’s jammed ineptitude has led to the running down of the state’s healthcare system. This is a very poignant case of double jeopardy, for there is now simply, no healthcare infrastructure in place to cope with what is clearly a looming disaster!

This is a disaster foretold. For we are going to witness in the weeks ahead, an upsurge in cases of water borne diseases which could have been prevented. Even in terms of short term expediency, the state government lacks even the rudimentary administrative skills and wherewithal to cope with an emergency. The Federal Government should brace itself up to intervene. For in our considered opinion, there is a terrible healthcare disaster looming in Osun State.

Unfortunately, self-help schemes will have to come into play. Once again, a long-suffering people will have to call upon their own resources and ingenuity to get out of the mess created by Oyinlola’s do-nothing maladministration. Cry the beloved Osun State, for they do not deserve this continuous torture. We will continue to pray fervently that the Court of Appeal does what is right and just and get our people out of the misery. In the meantime, we will continue to commend the people of Osun State for their great forbearance in the force of adversity. Our prayer is that the years the Oyinlola locust has eaten an intervention will soon come through the intercession of the infinite grace of the almighty who is always munificent in his benevolence.

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