Suspected vandals have attacked the Birninkudu Water Treatment Plant in Birninkudu LGA of Jigawa state, stealing items worth over N20 million.
Ibrahim Garba, the commissioner for water resources who confirmed the incident when he inspected the facility on Friday, said the hoodlums also beat up the workers at the water plant.
Garba said the government will take drastic measures against those sabotaging its efforts to provide potable water to residents of the state.
“This is very sad and unfortunate indeed. Items worth over N20 million were stolen by the vandals,” Garba said.
“This is the first time this is happening since the creation of this water facility in Birninkudu in the last 50 years.
“This is happening across the state as it happened in Kazaure where about 20 boreholes were destroyed, cables dug out and carted away, it also happened in Babura, Gumel and Dutse. So it rampantly happening.”
He added that the rampant theft and destruction of water facilities across the state is causing hardship to the citizens and a setback to the government’s effort to provide water for all.
The commissioner advised the public to take full ownership of all facilities and other critical infrastructure provided in their communities.
He urged them to report any suspicious movement around such facilities to the security agencies for prompt action.
Yunusa Shuaibu, zonal manager of the Jigawa water board who was among those attacked by the suspected vandals, said the hoodlums attacked the facility at about midnight on Tuesday.
“It was on Tuesday around midnight that a gang of people numbering about 10, carrying dangerous weapons, attacked the facility where I, the manager and two other staff, were attacked,” he said.
“They tied me up and hit me and other staff with stick, while one staff managed to escape.
“They cut off cables and stole items worth over N20 million, and ransacked the facility.”
Shuaibu said the items stolen included a high lift cable, DB cable, two high lift rotors, three kickstarter, four solar batteries, and computers.
Others are stock cables, two batteries, a pump, seven impellers, overload spear parts, an iron slab, and five mobile phones.
Also speaking, Magaji Yusif, chairman of the council, noted that a substantial number of residents of the area depend on the facility for their daily water needs.
Yusif said two-thirds of the 200,000 residents of the LGA could no longer access water due to the vandalism.
He added that the facility, built in 1972, treats 400 cubic liters of water per hour.
The chairman promised that the council would take proactive measures to forestall future occurrences.
He also said the council would take immediate action to ensure that the water supply continues, pending the repair of the facility by the state government.