By VINCENT UJUMADU
ANAMBRAState government has commenced execution of 17 new water schemes estimated to cost N2.55 billion under its medium-term water supply programme.
Governor Peter Obi said, during the flag off of one of the projects at Nibo in Awka South local government area at the weekend, that it was part of the state government’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, by 2015.
The Nibo project, which is about 50 per cent completed, is to supply water to other neighbouring communities.
Some of the other schemes are Awkuzu–Ifitedunu, Agulu-Adazi, Nimo–Enugwu Ukwu, among others.
The governor explained that when his administration came on board, it discovered that virtually all water schemes were not functioning, adding that he decided to tackle the problem by classifying them into short, medium and long term.
According to him, the 17 water schemes fall under the medium term of the project execution as government had shifted from the borehole system which served as an intervention measure under the short term project.
Obi said funds for the 17 projects, scattered throughout the three senatorial zones of the state, had been deposited in a special account, adding that the spectacular thing about the water schemes was that government did not borrow for their execution.
Obi said that the Nibo scheme, awarded to Glitz Introserve Limited at a total cost of N140 million, is expected to be completed by April this year, stressing that the benefiting communities would approve the completion of the project before the final payment is made to the contractor.
The governor said that similar projects will be flagged off in various parts of the state in coming weeks.
In his address, the commissioner for Public Utilities, Water Resources and Community Development, Mr. Emeka Nwankwu said the scope of the project would involve the rehabilitation of the existing water boreholes and construction of new tank of 100,000 gallon capacity, construction of a new water borehole to increase the volume of production, expansion and reticulation to ensure adequate transmission and distribution to people’s homes.
He also said when the projects were completed; the benefiting communities would be involved in the management and maintenance through the Water Consumers Association to be established for the purpose.
In her address, the commissioner for economic planning and budget, Prof Chinyere Okunna who is also the state chairman of the MDG implementation committee, explained that the MDG programme is a 50 -50 partnership between the participating states and the federal government, adding that Anambra State has been benefiting from the programme because of the state government’s commitment towards the implementation of the programme.
According to her, Anambra has consistently qualified to participate in the programme since it began in 2007, which, she stated is a clear indication of the good governance going on in the state.