ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MINISTRY

Evidence of achievements recorded so far in the Ministry of water resources abound everywhere. Many thanks to his Excellency, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, for his well thought initiative of appointing, Mrs. Euphemia Nwali as the Hon. Commissioner, to head the Ministry of Water Resources.
Her managerial abilities coupled with the expertise of seasoned administrators and that of the engineers in the Ministry have worked wonders within the short period she has stayed in office.
She has not disappointed his Excellency for selecting her for this challenging job. Below is however a marathon of the Ministry's achievements under her watch.


WATER PIPELINE RETICULATION:

Transmission of potable water is the most challenging of the three stages of water production. In Ebonyi State however, it is even more challenging considering the fact that the water pipelines in the Abakaliki Capital City were laid over 30 years ago. These pipes were either asbestos(AC) or galvanized iron(GI) pipes.
They have all outlived their lifespans, resulting in frequent pipe bursts whenever water is introduced in them. On assumption of office in May 29, 2015, the present Administration thought it wise and embarked on total replacement of all these outdated water pipelines, with High Density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, which is the latest technology in water pipes production.
This exercise was not just restricted to replacing the outdated pipelines; areas that hitherto had no water pipelines have also been covered to further make potable water accessible to the people.
Below are some of the Streets and areas previously covered in this exercise, between May 2016 to May 2017:
FETHA 1, Police Headquarters, Government House, Prisons Line, Udensi Junior Quarters, Ebonyi Voice, Otozie, Ukanwoke, Augustine Eze, Eze Ugwu-Achara road, Mbam Agbo, Ngozi Obichukwu, Nwofia, Nwambara road, Ohatekwe road, Oti, Akaeze, Nwankwo, Mbanefo, Ezeke-Ikwo, Nwodo, Amagu, St. Margret Umahi, Offia Nwali, Adol Awam, Nise, Liberation Estate, Itapa Azobu and the Anglican church headquarters, Abakaliki, and many others.
From that period to date, the Ministry has added the following Streets to its list in the reticulation exercise.
There are: Amike-aba/Ogboloko, Awolowo, Chief Steve Omege, Ezekuna hall road, Ibibio, Lawrence Ono, Leach, Liberty and Ejiofor, Low Cost, New Haven, Nna, Nsugbe Line1, Nsugbe Line2, Nwodo, Okpara, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Uga to Aguiyi Ironsi, Watchman, Udensi/ Dr. Urochukwu, Ogbaga and Water Works road.
Others are: Brakenbury, Calabar, Obiri, Onitsha Street L1, Onitsha Street L2, Owerri, Nkwogu, Amaudo, Amaudo T-Off, Barr. Igwe Ama, Emma Echegu, Ezeokohu, Ezza road Quaters, James Alagba, Onwe extension (GRA) Line 1, Onwe extension (GRA)Line 2, Prof. Fidelis Ogah, Umuchu, Virginland, Onwe road Line 1 and still counting.


CONSTRUCTION OF WATER TREATMENT PLANT AT ISHIAGU:

The Ishiagu Community and indeed entire Ivo Local Government Area, have no existing Water Treatment Plant. Consequent to this development, the people of this Community are subjected to an untold hardship sourcing for water for their daily needs.
It is for this reason, the Administration of Engr. David Nweze Umahi, being a visionary and people oriented leader; in 2016, embarked on the construction of a Water Treatment Plant at Ishiagu.
This water treatment plant when completed will have a production capacity of 16,000 Cubic Meter per day and will put to an end the sufferings of the Ishiagu people in respect of water needs.
Work in this project is currently in progress and have reached over 45 percent completion and His excellency is bent on sustaining the tempo of work till it is completed and delivered to the people.


REHABILITATION OF EZILLO, OLD ABAKALIKI AND UBURU WATER SCHEMES; INCLUDING THE OVERHAULING OF EXISTING BOOSTERS STATIONS, ETC.:

The Ezillo Regional Water Scheme is presently operating below 20 percent of its installed capacity. Realizing the importance of Ezillo Water Treatment Plant to the water needs of the residence of Abakaliki Capital City, the Administration of Engr. David Nweze Umahi, in collaboration with Sustainable Development Goal's (SDG's), Ebonyi State;
awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of not just the Ezillo Regional Water Scheme but also the Old Abakaliki and Uburu Water Schemes, including the overhauling of the Sakamori booster stations at Ezzamgbo and the one in Abakaliki Capital City.
These rehabilitations are aimed at recovering the lost production capacities of these facilities to boost the supply of potable water in the State.
The collaboration with the SDG'S, is equally constructing and delivering to the people of Ezicha Community in Izzi L.G.A and Agu-Ugwu Community in Ohaozara L.G.A. a water reservoir each, to make water supply more readily available and accessible to the people of these areas.
So far the works at these facilities have reached advanced level and will soon be delivered to the people.


WATER SUPPLY TO THE 13 SELECTED GENERAL HOSPITALS ACCROS THE STATE:

Prior to the inception of the present Administration, the 13 General hospitals scattered across the State had no sustainable water supply source. On the assumption of office and in realization of the importance of water to these general hospitals;
the Administration of Engr. David Nweze Umahi, embarked on the drilling of boreholes and construction of overhead tanks in each of these General hospitals.
This project has since been completed and all the 13 General hospitals now have functional water supply sources.


TAKING OVER OF THE OFEREKPE MEGA WATER TREATMENT PLANT FROM THE CONTRACTOR; GILMOR ENGINEERING NIG. LTD.

It was a historic moment for the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ebonyi State government at large when on the 8th of June 2017, the State funded 100,000 cubic meter daily capacity Oferekpe mega Water Treatment Plant was formally handed over to the the government of Ebonyi State by the Contractor, Gilmor Engineering Nig. Ltd. who handled the construction of the Plant.
The attainment of this feat was a colossal breakthrough in the administration of his Excellency's, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, as the area of dispute which had caused the delay in the handing over of the project previously was amicably resolved after a realizable truce was brokered between the two parties- the government and the Contractors.
Consequently the much awaited Oferekpe water is now available to the people, as the Plant has since commenced operation.


RESUMPTION OF WORK AT UKAWU MEGA WATER TREATMENT PLANT

The Ukawu Water Treatment Plant was projected at the same capacity as that of oferekpe(100,000m3 daily production capacity). It will be recalled that though the contract to Ukawu water treatment plant was signed at the same period that of Oferekpe water Treatment Plant was signed, the progress of work was stalled due to a breach in contract on the part of the Contractor handling the project, who abandoned the project thereby truncating its delivery at the expected time.
Consequent to this development, the contract was terminated by his Excellency, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, after reviewing the cause of the abandonment of the project. In his wisdom however, he decided to think out of the box to get the project completed and delivered to the people. It is therefore gratifying to know that the progress of work at the site currently stands at 75% at the highlift section and 80% at the Lowlift section.
Attesting to this feat we recall his Excellency's words on the occasion of workers day celebration 2017 while commending the Ministry of water Resources for their efforts at Ukawu water project, his words, "..You wouldn't believe the level at which the project is at the moment and at a very laughable amount...".
His Excellency was comparing the cost of attaining this stage of work to its initial contractual fee. The gap is mouth-bulging. The progress of work at this treatment Plant in spite of the shortcomings is indeed a testimony.


PURCHASE OF DRILLING RIGS:

The Ebonyi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (EB-RUWASSA), which is an Agency under the Ministry of Water Resources charged with the responsibility of providing water needs of the people in the rural areas, does not have a functional water Drilling Rig.
Consequently, it is relatively difficult for the Ministry to meet the water supply needs of the rural dwellers. In realization of this, His Excellency, ordered for two Drilling Rigs from India, for use by the Ministry. One of the two rigs, have been delivered to the State government as shown below.


CONSTRUCTION OF WATER STORAGE TANKS AT ONU-IGBOJI, IBOKO AND OSO-EDDA RICE MILL CLUSTERS:

The operation of the newly installed rice parboiling machines at the three Rice Mill Industrial Clusters, in Onu-Igboji; Ikwo, Iboko; Izzi and Oso-Edda; Afikpo-South, was hampered by the absence of water storage facilities.
To address this challenge therefore, His Excellency, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, ordered for the construction of three water storage tanks and reinforced concrete base in each of these Industrial Clusters to facilitate their operations. These projects have since been completed.


WATER SUPPLY TO THE NEWLY CONSTRUCTED ROUNDABOUT FOUNTAINS:

The Five (5) water fountains in the Abakaliki Capital City are supplied water regularly through the construction of water boreholes and overhead tanks as directed by His Excellency. These are located at Udensi Roundabout, Government House Roundabout, Abacha Roundabout, Dr. Akanu Ibiam Roundabout and Presco Roundabout.


WATER SUPPLY TO THE EBONYI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY:

The Ebonyi State House of Assembly presently enjoys uninterrupted water supply. This is courtesy of the construction of a dedicated borehole and overhead tank in the Complex.


WATER SUPPLY TO AZUOFIA-EDDA:

As part of its commitment to make water extensively available to the people of the rural Communities, the Ministry of Water Resources provided water Borehole to Azuofia-Eda Community in Abakaliki L.G.A. This is to take care of the water shortage characterized in the area.


CHALLENGES

No success story was ever told without its attendant challenges. It is overcoming the challenges that bring such success story in the first place. In the Ministry of water Resources therefore challenges are not unexpected.
In the course of tending to its day to day duties, myriads of problems were usually faced but with determination and focus in the Ministry, each of the challenges is always overcome. Topmost among these problems are the incidence of vandalization of pipeline and burst pipes. These have remained reoccurring despite efforts made in the past to address them.
It is sad enough that after the government has spent so much in acquiring and maintaining facilities meant to better the life of the people, unwarranted destruction is meted on the facilities thereby creating lacuna in the supply of water to the people.
To curb the incidence of vandalism, the Ministry partners with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to monitor and apprehend culprits and bring to an end this trend. So far this partnership has been yielding good result and if sustained will address permanently the situation.
Addressing the problem of burst pipes, the Ministry opted for the total replacement of the old and weakens pipes with the highest quality in the production of pipes as earlier enumerated and the expected result is that henceforth issue of burst pipes will be a thing of the past.
There is also the problem of road contractors who in the course of carrying out their duties destroy water facilities and most times make no effort in reporting such to the Ministry and by implication when water is pumped it goes into wasting. This issue is being addressed on regular basis as the Ministry has made it a point of duty to detect such problem early enough and get the perpetrators acknowledge their role in doing the right thing.
Lastly, there is the issue of Ministry of Power competing for space with the Ministry of Water Resources in the course of laying the streetlight cables along the roads. It is hopeful that this confusion will be resolved soonest between the two sisters Ministry as both are working assiduously for the good of all Ebonyians.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

It is the desire of every responsible government to meet the needs of its people. Failing to achieve such needs, especially the fundamental ones such as the abstraction, treatment and transmission of potable water, will leave an incurable lacuna in the overall performance of such government.
The Ebonyi State Government is leaving no stone unturned in making sure it meets its water production and transmission target. All hands must therefore be on deck to support all the efforts of the, Engr. David Nweze Umahi's led administration, as it thrives to take Ebonyi State to the next level.
It is hopefully believed that when all the efforts geared towards revamping the water sub-sector is successfully achieved and delivered to the people, the shortcomings often experienced which lead to shortage of potable water in the State would have been fully eradicated and its sustainability guaranteed. Thank you for reading.


Previously

  1. The Ministry of Water Resources on creation inherited the on-going construction of Ohafia-ukawu Water Scheme. The construction work is progressing satisfactorily and will be completed within the life of this administration.
  2. The water pipeline reticulation in the Abakliki metropolis is another major water project currently on-going in the state presently, the three (3) campuses of the Ebonyi State University, the Permanent site, Isieke, CAS and the CHS which hitherto had no pipe borne water supply have all been connected to the public water supply system. Other arears that have also been relayed with new water pipelines includes; the Ezza Road; Hill top Road; Nnoron Street, Mgbukobe area, etc.