THE BIG STORY: Despite residents source water from electric-powered-boreholes, Delta government says it has provided water everywhere

*Two named water projects, Bomadi N110.5m, Effurun-Warri (private investment) N13billion still in progress

Despite people of Delta state source water from electric powered boreholes in almost all urban and semi-urban centres, Delta state government said it has provided water everywhere, insisting that the people of the state have not asked relevant questions to enable them access water for their domestic and industrial use.

The state commissioner for water resources and development, Fidelis Tilije, who briefed journalists on government’s efforts at ensuring that water is made available to Deltans, explained that without asking relevant questions which will lead to accessing the water provided by the state government, Deltans will continue to complain and groan in the midst of plenty.

He said the days of laying pipes everywhere transporting water into taps where the people could queue up for water were over, noting that the process being put in place now is connecting water directly into people’s homes and that can only be accessed based on demand from the authority or agency in charge.

However, going round the state from the urban to the semi-urban and rural areas, one sees only electric-powered boreholes, hand-propelled taps while most villagers or rural dwellers source water either from wells dug within their premises or water from flowing streams, rivers and other unhealthy sources of water.

Tilije said on assumption of office, the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s government established 706 water schemes in the state with 288 of them functioning, adding that as at present there are 900 water schemes with 630 being 70percent functioning across the nooks and crannies of the oil rich state.

He said the major challenge in sustaining the water schemes is power supply as the state cannot successfully power the schemes with diesel and generator as these are eating deep into the financial base of the state.

Although the commissioner mentioned 900 water schemes with 630 functioning in the state, he dwelt essentially on Bomadi as one of the centres with the functioning water schemes out of the 25 local government areas in the state.

He did not mention any other rural community in the 25 council areas where the state water scheme is functioning. When he was, however, asked, he said there are other places in the state where the water scheme is functioning.

He said when the government came on board, it was told that the people of Bomadi area had not seen public water for over 20 years, noting that though the administration met a public water scheme, it was not functional, hence the people had no access to public treated water for domestic or industrial use.

Following the need to ensure water is made available to the people, Tilije said his ministry went to work and arrived at a scheme that could get water available to the people of Bomadi at the cost of N110.5million, noting that the contract has been awarded and at 90 percent completion, even though the administration has one year left to wind up.

“As I speak, we have a functional water scheme in Bomadi with over 25 water fetching island, a functional treatment plant with adequate capacity to treat enough water volume to supply treated and potable water to five more communities in Bomadi environs, Kpakiama, Tuomo, Oboro, Okpokunu and Gbaregolor.

“There is also a massive solar and inverter systems that support the generator and a 100,000 water tank with adequate booster pump being constructed. The connection to these other five communities will be second phase of the Bomadi water project,” the commissioner was quoted as saying.

Tilije told journalists at the briefing that the ministry at the briefing that the ministry of water resources has upgraded Asaba and Ughelli water schemes to regional water schemes which has been awarded to the tune of N233.7million and targeted at providing public water supply to 2000 individuals and 1000 households across the area of coverage.

He said this water will be connected to individual homes directly as it will ease water rate collection and enable households to pay as they consume, adding that the ministry has already installed concrete overhead tanks with capacity of 150,000 gallons of water at each headwork in Asaba and Ughelli.

Tilije, who was a running mate to former governorship candidate, Great Ovedje Ogboru before defecting to the PDP and given a heroic welcome, also said the state executive council has approved a 12-year-concession-agreement between the state and a private investor for the Warri-Effurun water scheme, noting that the investor will be investing the sum of N13billion into the project.

He said the Warri-Effurun water scheme which has been under construction since 1993 will provide water for over 16,000 households in the Warri-Effurun and environs.

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