By Michael Olugbode, in Maiduguri 

The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) is building one of its biggest projects in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, North East Nigeria.

The project a water works, is believed would cost the humanitarian organisation N1.1 billion and scheduled for completion and handing over to the Borno State Government in the next five months.

Conducting journalists round the project site at Alhamduri area of Maiduguri on Thursday, the ICRC Head Sub-delegation, Maiduguri Office, Beat Mosimann, said the project was being constructed in close partnership with the Borno State Ministry of Water Resources.

He said the plant on completion was expected to serve about 150,000 people living in Alhamduri area of Maiduguri and its’ environs.

Mosimann said: “The construction at Alhamduri includes a groundwater-extraction and processing facility that will supply the existing local water distribution network in the area.

“On completion, the facility will have a daily production of approximately nine million litres of safe drinking water per day. It is one of the biggest urban water projects in the world.”

He revealed that: “The construction works are being undertaken by CGC Nigeria Ltd and funding, under the supervision and management of the ICRC in partnership with the Ministry of Water Resources of Borno State.

“On completion, the water works is to be run and maintained by the Borno State Ministry of Water Resources.”

He said: “So far, approximately 40 percent of the overall construction work has been achieved. The project is planned to be completed by the end of October 2018.”

Speaking to journalists at the project site, the Borno State Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Zainab Gimba, said the project was started by the present state government when it was sworn in about seven years, but since the Boko Haram crisis took so much of the state resources, it had to be abandoned.

She said with the state government having dug 12 of the needed 15 boreholes needed to provide the water source for the water works, the ICRC took over the project from them.

He commended the ICRC for the quality of job done, noting that the project was one of the major interventions by any organisation in the troubled state.