Ebonyi State Government will spend N 2.1 billion on the rehabilitation of water facilities to meet the water needs of residents of the state.
Governor David Umahi stated this in Abakaliki, recently, while launching the state’s Sustainable Development Goals water projects in the three senatorial zones of the state which he dubbed “Operation Water Ebonyi State.”
Addressing the people during the ceremony, the governor said Ebonyi was among the 10 lucky states that accessed the SDG grant of N600 million each.
According to the governor, the beneficiary states were expected to match the grant with additional N600m each in order to access the fund. He explained that Ebonyi did not only do so, it injected additional N900m into the pool, thereby having the N2.1bn for the water projects.
The sum, he added, would be used to fix the Ezillo water plant, the Sacamori water station, the Juju hill water scheme and the Ohaozara water station.
A statement on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, quoted Umahi as saying: “Let me put it properly that Federal Government gave N600m and we were expected to match it with another N600m.
“We did and we also provided another N900m. So all together, the three lots of the projects are going to be costing us about N2.1bn. So, FG, N600m; Ebonyi State Government, N1.5bn.
“Let me say that the scope of this job is, part one, rehabilitation of Ezillo water treatment plant, and Sacamori pipe line network facilities. We tend to have storage Tanks in Ichichi Forest, which will supply the Federal University at Ndufu Alike, supply the local government of Ikwo, supply some areas in Izzi, supply our rice mill and that of Engr. Ugwu as we make efforts to get our rice millers to also take over the UNIDO rice mill.
“The Sacamori pipeline has its network through Ezza North, Ezza south, Ishielu, Izzi, Ohaukwu, and even FUNAI.
“We want to do proper integration of Ezillo water scheme and that of Oferekpe to ensure that if we have problem with Oferekpe and it is shut down, Ezillo will start supplying. But most importantly is the distribution network in Abakaliki.”
Umahi also revealed that the 3rd part is to address the water challenges in Ohaozara, stating that already, there is a water treatment plant in the area.
“The 3rd one is to address the water challenges in Ohaozara. Already, we have water treatment plant there. So what we want to do is to build a storage tank at Agukwu and build another storage tank at Ugwulangwu.
So with these two storage tanks, we can network the entire Okposi,Uburu and Ugwulangwu.” The governor, who lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babacir Lawal, for including Ebonyi State as a beneficiary of the grant, the aforementioned projects constituted the first major phase of the “Operation Water Ebonyi State.”
He also disclosed that the Ishiagu water project had been redesigned and re- awarded to a competent contractor at the cost of N1.2 billion, stressing that the arrangement was to integrate all water projects.
He stated that the Oferekpe and Ukawu water scheme would be completely ready to provide water.
Umahi also emphasised that the distribution process of the pipelines had already started. “We just started a process to do some distribution network of our pipelines. And I have directed Ministry of Water resources to immediately tell us the balance of the distribution, so that within the next one year, we should beat our chests and say, everybody, especially within the capital city is drinking water.”
The governor assured the remaining local government areas that are not benefiting in the SDG water projects that they would be considered in other areas such as provision of electricity.
He frowned at poor quality of some road project being handled by some contractors in the state and warned that any contractor who was not ready to keep to specification and standard would be shown the way out.