Rising from a 9-hour State Executive Council meeting, the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday announced its plans to ensure adequate water supply in Enugu metropolis and Nsukka to meet up with increasing demand.
Addressing newsmen after the council’s meeting, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Charles Egumbge said that the state government was targeting 40,000 cubic meters of water supply by the end of the year to ensure that the people of the state enjoy adequate supply.
Dr. Egumgbe noted that the EXCO meeting was “specifically” devoted to issues of water, especially on how to make it available for the people of Enugu metropolis and Nsukka, adding that the council considered proposals from reputable companies both locally and internationally, which centered on water production, reticulation as well as power supply.
The Water Resources Commissioner stated that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration apart from the N100 million it injected at its inception to increase the output of water supply to Enugu metropolis, also awarded contract worth about N170million for the maintenance of water facilities at Ajali and Oji River Water Plants to further boost supply.
He disclosed that the state presently generate over 18,000 cubic meters of water, saying, “that is why we now have water moving into every other parts of Enugu such as Ogui, New Layout, some parts of Independence Layout, New Haven, Abakpa, Achara Layout, Uwani, among others.
“Our target is to ensure that we produce about 40,000 cubic meters of water so that substantially, most of Enugu will have water in the short term. But in the long term, the entire Enugu will have water, in keeping with our policy”, Dr. Egumgbe said.
He added that the state government was considering the possibility of engaging the services of independent energy supply companies as alternative to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), to avoid the ugly experience of unstable public power supply, which he said, hinders pumping of water to end users.
“So these multiple matters were dealt at the EXCO meeting towards ensuring that both in the short term and long term we will have water within Enugu metropolis and Nsukka as well. This council meeting was dedicated to seeing what we can do to solve perennial water challenges. We are looking forward that before the end of this year, we will have a cause to smile in the area of water availability”, he said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, disclosed that the council approved the payment of gratuity to retired Judges in the state, stressing that the retired members of the bench have been receiving their pensions regularly.
Mr. Anikwe announced that EXCO also approved the 2016 promotion for civil servants in the state and agreed that similar promotion exercise be carried out at the local government areas for 1254 employees of different cadre for the approval of the council.
The Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, Barr. Emeka Okeke, who also addressed the press revealed plan by the government to enhance its relationship with the people at the grassroots for effective and sustained channel of communication that would enable it feel the pulse of the rural dwellers in all the 457 autonomous community in the state.
Barr. Okeke noted that the measure which is a two-way communication mechanism where every autonomous community will have a representative that will be interfacing with the government on its programmes and policies and communicate to the people of the area on a feedback approach, was in line with the administration’s grassroots development initiatives.