By Uzo Ugwunze
Ojoto, July 10, 2018 (MOI) Two International donor agencies have collaborated with Anambra State Government to organise a series of orientation workshops.
The workshops have been tagged “Village Level Operations and Maintenance (VLOM)’’.
The two organisations are UNICEF and the European Union (EU).
They ran the workshops aimed at maintaining motorised water boreholes for communities in Idemili South Local Government Area (LGA).
The Water Supply Officer, Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) Idemili South LGA, Mr Emeka Udeze said the objective of the workshop include “enhancing capacity of participants for routine operation and preventive maintenance of community boreholes’’.
Other workshops were also to monitor water projects and technical maintenance of the boreholes, for sustainable and steady water supply services from facilities to plan O and M programmes and future community projects.
The participants were made up of volunteer water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) committees in the different communities in LGA where UNICEF-built water boreholes and other forms of water facilities existed.
UNICEF Supervisor, Idemili South LGA, Mr Obinna Marks, defined the operation as daily activities of components parts that include water supply systems like electric pumps, generators, solar panels, and control boxes.
Mr Marks explained that such maintenance constituted the art of keeping the structures, switches and other components in optimum working condition.
According to Marks, this includes preventive measures, corrective actions, repairs and mechanical adjustments.
The volunteer WASH community members were also taught the water sources used for motorised schemes.
These include boreholes, wells, developed springs and surface natural water, like streams.
“Wherever water supply contamination is suspected, water treatment would be carried out. Also, faulty taps or pipes should be properly fixed.
“To ensure sanitation and safety of the water facilities, WASHCOM and community should ensure frequent trimming down or weeding of grasses within the facility. They should also provide security and fencing to the facility,’’ he said.
Moreover, some of the water safety issues discussed during the workshops was addressed through O& M that also include possible contamination of water supply which could develop as a result of rust pipes, septic tanks, fertilisers and borehole concrete base.
Earlier, Programme Manager, RUWASSA, Mr Victor Ezekwo urged WASHCOM volunteers to remember that it cost a lot of money and logistics to build such multi million naira water facilities with either grid power system, solar or hybrid systems.
Ezekwo urged them to learn the basic operation and maintenance knowledge that would help ensure sustainability of the water facilities in their various communities. (MOI)