Photo Speak: Water Returns to Dry Taps In Ebonyi


By Nature p

Before the advent of the administration of Governor David Umahi Nweze, water supply in Ebonyi State was one of those problems long declared to be intractable by preceding administrations.

Water Returns to Dry Taps In Ebonyi

But that era is seemingly fading into oblivion with the breakthroughs recorded by the Umahi administration in the areas of regular water generation and distribution in both the urban and rural areas of the state.

Precisely, on the 25th of August, Nkaliki, the headquarters of Abakaliki local government area was agog with highly excited Ebonyians and other stakeholders in the present development agenda, as the state government led by Chief Umahi flagged off the 2015 Ebonyi state SDGs Water Projects in the three senatorial zones.

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The projects which will all together, cost about N2.1 billion has been divided into three lots to cater for the comprehensive water needs of the state. While the federal government via SDGs office has also provided their 600 million naira, Ebonyi state government has added N1.5 billion by the goodwill of the governor, to make up the cost.

The lot 1 of the projects was designed for the rehabilitation of the Ezillo water Treatment Plant and the Sakamori Water Pipeline network facilities and storage tanks. The Government under this, intends also to build storage tanks in Izzicha forest and other strategic heights to supply water to Federal University, Ndufu Alike (FUNAI) and other parts of Ikwo local government area as well as the state rice mill at Iboko and some areas in Izzi local government area.

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The second lot of the contract has been designed to take care of proper integration of Ezillo water scheme with that of Oferekpe to ensure that when one develops any problem, the other can substitute.

Lot three of the project was devoted to addressing the water challenges of Ohaozara areas of the state; build storage tanks in Agu-Ugwu, Uburu and Ugwulangwu to network the entire Ohaozara.

The government had started this remarkable process of restoration with the complete removal of old steel and asbestos pipes in the urban areas – some of them which dated as far back as 1979- and replacing them with the safer and more durable PVC pipes. This not only helps to broaden the water supply channels and networks but ensures that it reaches all nooks and crannies of the state.

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Regular supply of potable water has since ceased to be the exclusive perquisite of the rich living in the high brow areas of the salt city.

Residents of such less regarded areas of Azuiyiokwu, Saka mori and Oroke Onuoha are now happy and proud beneficiaries of the taps that sit sedately in front of their respective houses.

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Gone are the long treks to water boreholes or wells as well as the queues and the frequent fights that Ebonyi residents have endured all these years.

It is not yet over though as the service is yet to get to all the areas but the affected residents are confident that with the enormity and the pace of work still being done by the state Water Corporation on the project, it would be a matter of time before the service reach their quarters.

On inception, the administration had declared a target to boost the state’s water supply capacity from under 20,000 cubic meters to 77,000 cubic metres capacity and that objective hasall but been realized.

Water supply has been attacked with even greater zeal and vigour in the rural areas of the state.

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The Ebonyi State Ministry of Water Resources, is the agency charged with the responsibility of providing safe drinking water to the rural communities.

Records show that it has so far lived up to its billings under the Umahi administration which has the provision of potable water and environmental sanitation as a cardinal component of it administration.

Of note too, is the Ishiagu water project which had been redesigned and re- awarded to a competent contractor at the cost of N1.2 billion.

The state government is also re-assessing the Ukawu water project long abandoned by previous administrations to review the possibility of resuscitating it. When this is achieved, water supply to Afikpo North and South, Ezza, Ishielu and Onicha would have been guaranteed.

According to the Governor, these targets are crucial so that in the next one year, “we should beat our chest and say that everybody, especially within the capital city is drinking water.”

Ekubaraoha is a pacesetter and pathfinder of our time.


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