Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Thursday held a town hall meeting with relevant stakeholders aimed at finding lasting solutions to the problems hindering the regular supply of water to the homes and establishments in the state.
The meeting, which was summoned at the instance of the governor, in keeping with his administration’s renewed vigor to enhance the wellbeing of the people of the state through the sustenance of peace and good governance, extracted firm commitment from the players in the industry on better ways to improve water supply in the state.
Addressing the participants at the meeting, held at Ajali Water Scheme, Ezeagu Local Government Area, Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that “the water sector in the state has over the years encountered and is still being hampered by a number of factors especially, the fragile conditions of some of the existing water projects and installations as well as daunting environmental and human factors”, in spite of several attempts his administration had made to revamp the sector.
He added that his administration recently invested in the upgrade of existing infrastructure for enhanced water production and distribution across the state, stressing that the state government was desirous of finding immediate stop-gap solutions to the challenges the sector is facing so that residents can enjoy adequate water supply.
Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that the stop-gap solutions will provide water service to the state until the $50m loan the state government signed up with French Development Agency (AFD) for 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project for total transformation of the state’s water infrastructure is accessed.
The governor, who further disclosed that his administration was currently on the threshold of the first draw-down of the loan for an end-to-end transformation of the water infrastructure to begin, pointed out that the project which had “a long gestation period” will involve water production, transmission, distribution, metering, revenue collection and revenue recycling.
“We have, therefore, thought it wise to invite all of you – as major stakeholders in the water sector – to brainstorm and deliberate on how we can start the journey towards confronting the challenges in the sector successfully and meet the ever-growing water needs of Ndi Enugu while waiting for the benefits of the AFD-funded Urban Water Sector Reform Project to come on stream”, the governor explained.
In their contributions, the participants, including experienced water engineers, contractors, and staff and management of Enugu State Water Corporation, identified insufficient power supply as one of the major challenges hindering production and adequate distribution of water to residents and offered valued advice on how to address the problems.
On their part, the management of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), while describing Gov. Ugwuanyi as one of their valued customers, promised to improve power supply to both Ajali and Oji River Water Schemes and also give technical support to the Corporation for the people of Enugu State to enjoy adequate water supply.