Delta Commissioner Furious As Warri Water Works Breaks Down Again

Source: thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22, (THEWILL) - The Warri-Effurun Water Supply Scheme, a project meant to provide potable water for residents of Warri and Effurun, has broken down again, causing flooding in parts of Warri township.

Areas mostly affected by the discharge of water from the burst water reservoir at the waterworks include the Warri-Effurun-Sapele Road, Ekpan General Hsopital, PTI Road, Hausa Quarters/McDermott Road, Okunbor Street/Isoko, Ajanimogha, Roberts Road as well as Okere axis of the metropolis.

It was reliably gathered that a test-run exercise being conducted on the water scheme resulted in the recent breakdown which has resulted in a blame game between the contractor and consultant working on the project.

The problem on the project got to a head on Wednesday when the state Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Chris Oghenechovwen, suddenly called off a scheduled tour of the project site apparently because of its failed state.

A furious Oghenechovwen also summoned both the contractor and the consultant to appear before him on or before next Monday.

He said the consultant and the contractor working on the project had assured him the materials for the test-run of the project were ready for inspection.

He however expressed disappointment at the turn of events, saying the water project was "very key to the development agenda" of the state government.

He also stressed that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was aware of the botched project inspection he was to embark upon.

Lamenting that the governor had assured the people on the early completion of the project, the commissioner said it was obvious that the contractor was out to frustrate and sabotage the government's efforts.

"Since pumping is the only way to determine whether any water supply system is working, we agreed to erect stand pipes in at least ten different points in Warri, Ekpan and Effurun to test-run the project.

"However, despite the assurances by the contractors and the consultants who are both here, what I see on coming down from Asaba is not exactly what I was told. You assured me even at yesterday and this morning that it will be ready for the agreed inspection,” the commissioner stated showing signs of frustration .

He also lamented the contractor's apparent non-challant attitude, saying the government could sanction the contractors.

"We are not owing any contractor; but it is clear the contractor is not ready to work to schedule.... We cannot do inspection of the project today," he said as he announced the cancellation of the project inspection.

But the contractors, Gold Trust Company (main contractor) and Neston Engineering (technical partner) have blamed their inability to deliver on schedule on what they described as the "new challenges" usually associated with "rehabilitation projects of this nature."

This came as the consultant , Mr. Dennis N. Ofodile, said the problem of numerous burst pipes and the sloppy manner the contractors carried out the assessment prior to commencement of repairs were responsible for the delay.

"The contractors did not do a thorough site inspection before commencing work on the pipes, " he said, adding that he had had a running battle with the firm trying to ensure that the right thing was done.

However, the representatives of the contractors, Mr. George Amadin, and the Project Manager, Mr Samuel Arowosafe, are saying that the new problems were not unusual with such rehabilitation projects.

They maintained that they still have enough time to work on the project and deliver the within the 12 months stipulated in the contract agreement with the State Government.