By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The riverine areas of Kwara State may become vulnerable to high prevalence of water borne diseases like hepatitis and others, the Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Commission, HYPPADEC, has warned.
HYPPADEC attributed the menace to shortage of portable water in the affected communities, adding that it was however collaborating already, with the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, to train no fewer than 980 Kwara youths in one year.
The training, according to HYPPADEC, would centre of poultry and fish farming, furniture making and others.
Managing Director of HYPPADEC, Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, made this known in Ilorin, the state capital, during a stakeholders meeting with members of the HYPPADEC communities in the state.
He said the commission would sink motorised and hand-pump boreholes in the communities, hinting that “our technical partners will provide solar-powered electric supply in the affected communities.”
He said, “The training will centre of poultry, fish farming, furniture making, etc. It is going to be about 55 trades for every youth to choose from.
“When the youth are under training we are going to support them with stipends. Graduates will receive N15,000 per month, diploma holders and others will receive N10,000 monthly. This will at least, help them to go the training centres.
“70 percent of the beneficiaries will come from HYPADEC catchment communities, 10 percent of the youths will be persons with disability, 30 percent women and the rest will be a fight for all. We want to make sure that the disabled and women are given adequate attention.
“The classification of the exercise for HND and first degree graduates must be 35 percent of the beneficiaries, NCE and Ordinary National Diploma holders will take 30 percent, WAEC holders and the informal sector will be 35 percent.
“The training is going to be between three and six months, based on the trade the benefiting youths have chosen.
“If the exercise is successful, we will train another batch of youths. So that in every six months, we will be able to graduate 490 youths from Kwara State, who will be able to stand on their own.
“They will not only earn a living on their own, they will perhaps, be employers of labour. We hope the youth will utilise this opportunity.”
Also, he said that “HYPADEC will donate motorcycles to the communities and traditional institutions for the support of local vigilance groups.”
He added, “Some of the vigilance groups will be carrying out their functions, using the motorcycles.
“But the largest donation is going to be from our technical partners and I assure you, between now and middle of next year, the youth transformation will commence.”
In his remarks, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, represented by Secretary to the state Government, SSG, Prof Sha’aba Jibril, said that even, “many of the HYPADEC communities are exposed to environmental degradation, flooding and continue to suffer untold hardship since their livelihood is solely dependent on fishing and farming. They are therefore vulnerable.
“It is my hope that the perennial problem of power supply, disaster such as lead poisoning and erosion will soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria.
“We do acknowledge and owe lots of gratitude to our traditional institutions and other stakeholders within the HYPPADEC states that have been passionate about this movement from inception till date.”