By Dennis Agbo
Residents in Enugu and Nsukka townships have charged the Enugu state government to ensure that it executes to the conclusion its disclosed plan to resolve the perennial water scarcity in the state.
The state government had, within the week, announced its plan to commence rehabilitation of 9th-mile crash programme with solar-powered boreholes and release of funds for the actualization of federal government’s Adada Dam and associated infrastructure for the Nsukka water supply project.
The state government’s move came after Vanguard, last week, exposed the scorching water scarcity the residents have been passing through over the years and the lip services that have been paid to solving the problem.
Enugu resident and veteran journalist, Dr Dons Eze said that the state government’s announcement of a plan to tackle the water scarcity was good news of the New Year which should be highly commended but prayed that it will be actualized in no distant time.
Eze said: “Some other administrations had come up with postulation of giving Enugu water, but this administration should follow it up and not mere semantics, they should follow it up and not like the other administrations before now. This administration should not allow the project to fail as was done in the past.
“We have been wondering why the colonial government, as far back as 1926, was interested in sourcing water for the Enugu residents, while our own governments have been looking the other way, or paying mere lip service. Perhaps, we may be tempted to interpret it to mean that those foreigners love us or were more interested in our welfare than those who claim to be our brothers and sisters.”
On his own reaction, Nsukka resident and Chairman of Enugu Gaming commission, Mr Harrison Ogara noted the state water Corporation in Enugu under the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration has been doing some expansion of water reticulation in Nsukka but needs more personnel and equipment support to do more.
“The problem of water scarcity in Nsukka has been ageless and that informed the 1977 greater Nsukka water scheme from Adada River that was stalled and we have been at the mercy of water tanker dispensing vendors. I expected more action to have taken place five years ago but the government is fixing schools and other things because there was holistic neglect.
“As of today there is an effort to reticulate water in Nsukka which I am a beneficiary of the project, but what they should do is to equip the water board, not just the materials because they lack manpower. The water board needs equipment so that it does not rely on manual labour. They should be given machines and workers because they lack manpower,” Ogara said.
Vanguard reported last week that the major problem militating against urban water supply in Enugu and Nsukka was the lack of maintenance of water pumping machines and its components. Insider sources also said that the government was not sincere in the provision of budgets to have the facilities up and running.