Anambra adopts PPP initiative over provision of portable water to towns, communities

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Anambra towns and villages will soon experience a resurgence of piped water as the Government of Anambra prepares to activate an Integrated Water Schemes through public private partnership (PPP) initiative.Under the initiative, portable water will be delivered into the living rooms of the people.The Anambra State Commissioner for Public Utility, Mr Emeka Ezenwanne, an Engineer unveiled this during an interactive session with members of the Governor’s Media Team, during their session tagged “Meet the Media’’, aimed at providing insights into the achievements of the Government of the day.

Reacting to questions from the team, Mr Ezenwanne noted that the need for water could not be overemphasised.He said it was regrettable that Ndi Anambra had resorted to self help over time because of years of neglect and abandonment of water installations by past administrations.The commissioner, however, noted that the Obiano administration had stepped up to the challenge by reviving and expanding the Otuocha and Obizi Water Schemes.

The schemes with installed capacity to treat 10 million litres of water daily would supply water to communities in Anambra East LGA and not less than 14 communities in Aguata LGA respectively.Water is running in these communities as we speak,’’ noted the Commissioner.The Obizi Water Scheme pumps water thrice a week making 7,000 cubic metres of water available per hour to the benefiting communities.’’

The Otuocha scheme sourced its water from the Omambala River.I met an old man during the inauguration of the Aguata scheme,’’ said Ezenwanne, who enthused: “the last time I opened a tap to see running water was about three decades ago’’.According to man, I did not know that I would be alive to see piped water run in my community. That is how touching and impactful these projects are.

He emphasised the need to sustain these projects; to this end, the Anambra Government had concluded plans to concession the water schemes through a Public Private Partnership for sustainability.The Anambra State Executive Council, headed by Gov. Willie Obiano has since approved to concession the Greater Onitsha Water Scheme.A company, PCI South Africa is currently handling this project. Their success in Otuocha and Obizi water schemes informed this decision.The company has since commenced pipeline mapping to establish pipeline routes. This is to ensure that water pipelines are extended to all the communities in Anambra. Soon, the challenges of water supply in cities like Onitsha and Nnewi will be a thing of the past.We are using Onitsha, Obizi and Otuocha as testing schemes. Once we finalise and get them working, we will extend the project to 33 water schemes that we are building.

Don’t forget that we are doing a pilot scheme in partnership with the World Bank in Awka at Udoka Housing Estate specifically. This is to ensure that Ndi Anambra enjoys constant water supply,’’ added the commissioner.Commenting on the proposed reopening of schools, Ezenwanne said that the State Government has bought into the ‘National Wash Response on COVID-19’ – a programme of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that all schools have washing facilities.

We are currently doing an assessment of 900 schools to provide them washing facilities. We are doing this in phases, but so far we have assessed about 566 schools in the state.This is to ensure that the health protocols are strictly observed when schools reopen,’’ Mr Ezenwanne said.He, however, called on Ndi Anambra to protect Government facilities sited in their communities.According to him, the concession of such facilities will help their sustainability and maintenance, but we need to take responsibility for monitoring them to ensure that they are not abandoned or vandalised.

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