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Anambra is Adopting PPP Approach for Water Sustainability

By Ikenna Aniagboso 
Engr Emeka Ezenwanne (Commissioner for Public Utility) 
Engr Emeka Ezenwanne (Commissioner for Public Utility) 
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Ndi Anambra will soon experience the resurgence of pipe borne water as the government of Anambra state under Chief Willie Obiano prepares to activate an integrated water scheme project through public private partnership (PPP) initiatives, to deliver water to the living rooms of the people.

This was disclosed recently by the Anambra state Commissioner for Public Utility, Engr Emeka Ezenwanne during an interactive session with members of Gov Obiano's media team. The session tagged 'Meet the Media' is aimed at providing insight into the achievements of the Obiano administration.

Reacting to questions from the team, Engr Ezenwanne noted that the need for water cannot be overemphasized. He regretted that ndi Anambra had resorted to self help over time due to years of neglect and abandonment of water installations by past administrations.

He however revealed that the Obiano administration has stepped up to the challenge by reviving and expanding the Otuocha and Obizi water schemes. The water schemes with installed capacity to treat 10 million litres of water daily will supply water to communities in Anambra East LGA and about 14 communities in Aguata LGA respectively.

L-R:James Eze (Chief Press Secretary to the Governor), Engr Emeka Ezenwanne (Commissioner for Public Utility) Emeka Ozumba (Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Governor)

"Water is running in these communities as we speak", said the Commissioner. "The Obizi water scheme pumps water thrice a week making 7,000 cubic metres of water available per hour to the benefitting communities". The schemes source water from the Omambala river.

"I met an old man during the Commissioning of the scheme at Aguata", Ezenwanne enthused, "He informed me that the last time he opened a tap to see running water was over three decades ago. He said he didn't know that he'll be alive to see pipe borne water run in his community. That is how touching and impactful these projects are, he noted.

Continuing, he emphasized the need to sustain these projects. To this end, the Anambra state government has concluded plans to concession the water schemes through a Public Private Partnership for sustainability.

"The Anambra state Executive council headed by Gov Obiano has approved the concession of greater Onitsha water scheme. PCI South Africa is the company handling this project. Their success in Otuocha and Obizi water schemes informed this decision.

"The company has commenced pipeline mapping to establish pipeline routes. This is to ensure that water pipelines are extended to all the communities in Anambra state. Soon, the challenges of water supply in cities like Onitsha and Nnewi will be a thing of the past.

We are using Onitsha, Obizi and Otuocha as testing schemes. Once we finalize and get them working, we will extend the project to the 33 water schemes we are building. Don't forget that we are doing a pilot scheme in partnership with the world Bank in Awka at Udoka housing estate specifically. This is to ensure that ndi Anambra enjoy constant water supply".

Commenting on the proposed reopening of schools, Ezenwanne revealed that the state government has bought into the 'National Wash Response on Covid-19' - a programme of the Federal ministry of water resources to ensure that all schools have washing facilities.

"We are currently doing an assessment of 900 schools to provide them washing facilities. We are doing this in phases, but so far we have assessed about 566 schools in the state. This is to ensure that the health protocols are strictly observed when school reopens", he said.

Ezenwanne however called on Ndi Anambra to protect government facilities situated in their communities. According to him, the concessioning of the facilities will help in their sustainance and maintenance, but we need to take responsibility of monitoring them to ensure that they're not abandoned or vandalized.