By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRIâ€”The Imo State Government has reactivated some water schemes that had ceased to function in the last 30 or 40 years. The reactivation was carried out in theÂ last two and half years by the present administration.
Disclosing this in an interview in Owerri, the Commissioner for Public Utilities and Rural Development, Mr. Ralph Nwosu, said the administration reactivated the water schemes despite the current economic meltdown facing the state.
â€œSome of the water schemes stopped functioning for overÂ 30 years. The one in Nnempi, Oru West Local Government Area is a typical example of such dysfunctional water schemes. We have been able to rehabilitate them and if you go there now, you will see that the people are enjoying the facilities,â€ the Commissioner said.
A new dimension to the rehabilitation, according to Mr. Nwosu was governmentâ€™s decision to make the water projects solar-powered, adding that this would eliminate the problem of erratic public power supply and high cost of running diesel to pump water.
â€œThe solar-powered boreholes are spread across the three senatorial zones of the state. Government has also put these facilities in the care of the communities where they are sited,â€ Nwosu said.
On plans to extend the water schemes to other areas that do not have them, the Commissioner said that government had already worked out a plan where the state government would pay 70 percent of the cost, while the local council and the community would pay 20 and 10 percent respectively.
â€œThe contribution ofÂ the communities may not necessarily be cash but by policing these projects located in their respective communities. Government has also set up Water Committees, which will be reporting to the administration if the need arises,â€ Nwosu said.