Kwara Gov launches scheme to train youth, communities on mgt of public infrastructure

  • UNICEF lauds Gov’s support for people-focused interventions

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has launched a programme to train community folks on proper handling of public facilities for efficiency, long lifespan, and prudence.

Launching the Kwara Training, Repair, Empowerment and Community Ownership (KWA-TRECO 1.0) in Ilorin on Thursday, the Governor said the initiative will train people across communities and instill in them a culture of maintaining public infrastructure.

The scheme will also encourage communities to take ownership of public-funded projects in their areas, according to the Governor.

KWATRECO is domiciled in the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Development, Dr. Lawal Olohungbebe.

“KWA-TRECO 1.0. focuses on training our youths on how to fix boreholes in our rural communities and boosting access to potable water, which UNICEF puts at 74%.
Those picked for this initiative will be trained by professionals and be given tools that they require for the work. This is all paid for by the government,” the Governor said at the flag off.

“The essence is to improve access to drinkable water, reduce waterborne diseases, boost our health indices, give useful skills to our young people, and reduce unemployment and poverty in the state.

“KWA-TRECO is designed to gradually identify, select, and fix these public amenities as well as empower Kwara youths through productive engagements.”

Governor AbdulRazaq called on development partners to support his administration’s drive for sustainable solutions to the challenge of bad public infrastructure, access to water, unemployment, poverty and hunger, and other key challenges highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

He congratulated all the trainees, and urged them to make the best use of the opportunity to learn new skills and contribute to the development of their communities.

At the event were the Commissioner for Water Resources Usman Yunusa-Lade; Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development Abdullahi Abubakar Bata; Commissioner for Environment Shehu Ndanusa Usman; ALGON Chairman Hon. Jide Asonibare, and other TIC Chairmen; acting General Manager Kwara State Social Investment programme (KWASSIP) Dr. Wasiu Tejidini; former Commissioner for Water Femi Wahab Agbaje; and UNICEF representative for Kwara, Bolaji Abdulkadir Adebayo; and among other dignitaries.

Lade and Bata, in their separate remarks, said the initiative will reduce the burden of managing public facilities on the government especially in the area of rehabilitation and maintenance of boreholes.

Finding reveals that most rural communities with poor access to water actually have hand-held boreholes which have gone bad and only required minor repairs, according to Lade.

Dr Olohungbebe said the initiative will reduce a culture of people running back to government for rehabilitation of faulty public facilities in their domains rather than taking ownership and managing them themselves.

“Over the years, we have noticed that a lot of infrastructure will be there and the moment anything happens to them, people run back to the government to come and fix it for them. His Excellency, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is of the view that this is not sustainable,” he said.

“This is one of the reasons for this initiative and at least 200 people are to benefit from the training and empowerment under KWATRECO 1.0.”

The UNICEF representative lauded the Governor for the project and his commitment to payment of counterpart funds for WASH and other programmes of immense benefits to the people.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
March 8, 2024