Suspected hoodlums launched an attack on the Birninkudu Water Treatment Plant, located in Birninkudu Local Government Area of Jigawa State, physically assaulting workers and making off with items valued at over N20 million.
In a chat with newmen, Ibrahim Garba, the Commissioner for Water Resources expressed serious concern about the incident. He vowed that the government would take stringent measure against those undermining its mission to provide clean water to the state’s residents.
Garba lamented, “This is an extremely disheartening and unfortunate incident. The vandals made away with items worth over N20 million. This marks the first occurrence of such an event in the 50-year history of this water facility in Birninkudu.”
He went on to highlight that similar acts of theft and destruction of water infrastructure were plaguing other areas within the state, including Kazaure, where approximately 20 boreholes were destroyed, cables were stolen, and similar incidents happened in Babura, Gumel, and Dutse. This widespread problem was causing significant hardships for citizens in accessing clean water and thwarting government efforts to provide water for all.
Subsequently, the commissioner urged the public to take responsibility for protecting government facilities and critical infrastructure in their communities. He encouraged them to report any suspicious activities near these facilities to the security agencies for swift action.
Yunusa Shuaibu, the Zonal Manager of the Jigawa Water Board responsible for Birninkudu, Buji, and Gwaram, shared his harrowing experience as one of the victims of the attack him. He recounted how armed individuals, numbering around 10, stormed the facility around midnight on a Tuesday. They assaulted him and his colleagues, stealing valuable items, including cables, high lift rotors, kickstarters, solar batteries, and computers, totaling over N20 million in losses.
Magaji Yusif, the Chairman of the Council, emphasized the essential role of the water facility in meeting the daily water needs of a significant portion of the local population. He noted that due to the vandalism, two-thirds of the area’s 200,000 residents were now struggling to access water. The facility, established in 1972, had been treating 400 cubic liters of water per hour.
Mr. Yusif assured the community that the council would take proactive measures to prevent such incidents in the future. Additionally, they would take immediate steps to ensure continued water supply while awaiting the state government’s comprehensive repairs of the facility.