11 December 2012

Nigeria: Vandals, Flood Cripple Anambra Water Scheme

Awka — THE multi-million naira Obizi regional water scheme in Aguata local government area of Anambra State has been put out of use, following activities of vandals and submerging of the pumping machines by flood.

The water scheme, which was started during the administration of Chief Jim Nwobodo in the second republic, was abandoned for years before it was rehabilitated by Governor Peter Obi's administration at a cost of N400 million.

Before the recent incidents, the scheme was supplying water to Uga, Nkpologwu, Ekwulobia, Isuofia and some parts of Igboukwu and plans were under way to extend the supply to all the 14 communities in the area by next year.

Conducting newsmen round the vandalized water scheme yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities, Water Resources and Community Development, Mr. Chidi Onwudiwe, said the vandals removed all the armoured cables and other essential components from the transformer mounted in the area by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, thereby cutting off the water scheme from public power supply.

He also said the recent flooding that affected many parts of the state submerged the pumping machines and deposited large quantities of sand and water hyacinth, thereby blocking completely the water channels.

According to him, the flooding prevented free flow of water down the stream and this resulted in the increase in the volume of water above the pumping station, adding that as a result of the development, water supply to all the communities had stopped.

He, however, said the ministry had brought a machine that would dredge the entire channel of water for pumping to continue; assuring that the rehabilitation would be completed in the net few days to ensure that the scheme would resume operation before the Christmas season.

Onwudiwe explained that the second phase of the scheme would be executed under the European Union, EU, - assisted programme expected to take off early next year, adding that on completion, all the 14 communities in Aguata local government area would enjoy uninterrupted water supply.

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