Water Commissioner Announces Commencement of Water Reticulation In Abakaliki Metropolis

By Celestine Okeh, Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Commissioner for water resources, Hon. Nkah Chinedu Magnus said, plans has been conluded by the ministry to commence distribution of water to different homes within Abakaliki, the state capital.

The Commissioner, in an interview with our correspondent in his office, Ochudo centenary city Abakaliki, attributed to the commencement process to Governor Francis Nwifuru's practical Commitment to providing water to the people of the state.
Nkah, added that when he came onboard as the Commissioner for water resources, he met the almost impossible situation but despite the rot, degree of theft and vandalization done to the water infrastructures scattered across the state, his ministry was able to carry out the rehabilitation of the Ezilo Water Scheme and have commenced pumping of water to the reservoir for onward distribution to Abakaliki residents in line with the Governor's People's charter of need.

"When we came onboard, I discovered that Ebonyi State had a lot of water projects scattered all over the state. Most of them are mega water scheme.  Some of the completed once in the past like the Ezilo water scheme were seriously vandalized, the whole environment covered by bush including the Oferekpe. The multi billion that was invested was left to rot. Before the coming of this administration those places became a hibernating ground for criminals. Immediately we took over we had to clear the whole environment and started immediately to rehabilitate the water scheme, which to greater extent we did and then test-run water for some days. Though we intended to continue but we discovered that there were lots of damages to the pipe and infrastructures. A lot of pipes were cut, houses were built on top of pipes and so much damages, so when we started pumping, we discovered these and we had to stop because the cost of treating water is very high, we are forced to stop to repair the damaged infrastructures.
"We've gone a long way now in repairing those pipes and as am talking to you now, we have started pumping again within two days now water will start running in those areas that repair works are completed.

"So, to large extent, we have fixed the major areas that are causing serious leackages, not that we have done it hundred percent, no that is not possible, we have blocked some areas until we get them fixed. so, when we release water to the town, it will go to the areas we have fixed then gradually we fix other areas. 

"Each time we pump water we discover leakages, don't forget it is an old infrastructure that was built in 1985 by Jim Nwobodo, but we are not stopping there now, We have advertised Job for old Abakaliki water scheme where we generate water behind CAS from the water there, that area is very important because once you get water to the hill you distribute by gravity. It is one of the cheapest forms that was abandoned. Go there today, you see that life is coming back. We're going ahead to reconstruct the low lifters because everything there was looted to impunity. The only thing you see there is broken walls no roofs, no pumps but we will get that fixed before the end of this year. 

"The good thing is that we are taking it one after the other. We have fixed Ezilo from there we enter oferekpe. The job is also going on at Ishiagu water scheme, but our major focus now is at the urban area because we can't carry everything at once and achieve nothing. So, we want to get the urban area saturated, don't forget very soon we will enter the dry season so, we want to get the urban area properly fixed before we move to other areas". 

Hon Nkah noted that due to ongoing repairs, some areas like, CAS water works Azugwu within the metropolis may not get water supply at the moment until the pipes are completely repaired to avoid wastage.
"Areas like CAS, water works, Azugwu and environs will not get water because we have blocked those areas due to excessive damages to the pipes. For instance the damages caused by NEWMAP, we are still talking about that. And also the areas that have not been piped at all are not going to get water".

The Commissioner equally, avarred that most of the challenges encountered at the beginning such as power and vandalization has been taken care of, noting that the Ezilo Water Scheme has been connected to the national grid.

"The major challenges we had was theft to machines and cables which were vandalized, but we have replaced a lot of them, then another major challenge we had was power.  For over eight years, Ezilo water scheme was not connected to the national grid, but that we have done now. We no longer rely on gas alone to pump water because gas is too expensive".

He revealed the plans of the ministry to embark on the rehabilitation of Oferekpe and other water schemes in the state.

"After Ezilo, we are moving to oferekpe and we are also doing a huge water reservoir at iboko that will harvest water for circulation for the people of Izzi Local Government. We will move into oferekpe. What we have done there now is to secure the infrastructure by providing security and bugglary  proof to those windows and doors they used to have access to penetrate and cut our cables and we are negotiating with the company that did the project. Once we sort out the difference with the company we move in. Another challenge there is that the air valve of the main supply line were all harvested by the bad elements in the society, so we need to fix those things back and we also need to give water to the people that live along the Communities where the main pipes pass through, because when we collect water from oferekpe to Abakaliki here and people were not given water the security of the pipes will not be guaranteed. So, what we want to do now is to make sure we give water to people living around the community, because when they have access to water it reduce the theft"

He equally promised that the Ukawu water scheme will also get Government attention.
"Ukawu is another mega water project which if fixed will take care of water need of Onicha, Afikpo, Ohaozara and Edda Local Government Areas. It is a massive project. The challenge there is enormous. The job there is about 50% completion. The Governor has taken a practical approach in solving the water need of the people and we're taking it beat by beat, at least by this time next year we would have gotten to appreciable point. It is no longer a political statement but  practical steps. We're also ensuring that rural areas are not left out, we have taken a maintenance survey of the boreholes across the state. We're going to fix the boreholes so that they will have something to fall back on while they are waiting for the major one" 

He urge the people not to connect water illegally as such may cause damages to the water infrastructures, but they should rather approach the ministry to for connection when the need arises.

The Honourable Commissioner appreciated the state Governor, Rt Hon Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru for finding him worthy  to serve.

"I thank His Excellency, the Governor for finding me worthy  to be here. Most especially thank him for his practical Commitment to providing water to the good people of Ebonyi. He is living up to his promise" .

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post