Following calls for potable water in Southeast, there seems to be abandoned water projets in Anambra as these are fraudulently done to create opportunity and avenue to siphon money.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, Anambra State Water Corporation, Sir Victor Okonye disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Vanguard correspondent on Wednesday.
“In Anambra State, the last regime that showed genuine effort in rehabilitation of existing water schemes was former Gov. Chris Ngige’s administration. Ngige restored the World Bank- Assisted Greater Onitsha Regional Water Scheme and waded gradually into community water schemes. Even during the time of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s administration when the Anambra State Water Corporation started going down, Dr. Mbadinuju was still managing to maintain the corporation and its water schemes until Ngige took over.
“All the gains of rehabilitation made by Ngige were thrown overboard and water supply became a mirage and water scarcity hit major cities of Onitsha and Awka. During the administration of Peter Obi, 17 water schemes were executed in collaboration with some international donor agencies namely: the European Union, UNICEF and the FG as part of efforts to achieve the MDGs target of 2015 in the water supply sector. Apart from the major water schemes, the then government also executed water projects in virtually all secondary schools and health institutions.
READ ALSO: Ikpeazu signs water bill into law
“Unfortunately, most of the projects had since collapsed, a development that had made many people to wonder if Anambra is jinxed as far as water supply was concerned. In fact, the Peter Obi administration spent about N3 billion to execute water projects, but due to lack of sustained maintenance, most of the projects have failed.
“Staff of the water corporation remained without salaries throughout the Obi administration and the incumbent, which led to prolonged litigation at the National Industrial Court, which awarded salaries to the workers and condemned the action of the government.
“The water sector has suffered so much because there is no political will by people in government to do something about it. Anambra State situation is the worst with all the major water schemes vandalized even by people in government. The Anambra State Government recently this year, allowed people to encroach into the massive Onitsha Water Works to erect buildings inside the beautiful Water Works erected with assistance of the World Bank, attracted by the regime of Jim Nwobodo.
“Presently, water projects are fraudulently done to create opportunity and avenue to siphon money. If any project is done, it is done half hearted and haphazardly to create room for costly maintenance and siphon of funds.
“There is no hope for good pipe borne water in Nigeria unless we have entirely new Nigeria and a new people. Everyone has become a thief.”