By NewsCritic Reporters
The Abia State Commissioner for Public Utilities and Water Resources, Engineer Emma Nwabuko, has assured residents of Abia State that potable water is going to flow in Umuahia and its environs now, as the state Water Board is set to commence pumping of non-commercial water to Umuahia and its environs.
Engr Emma Nwabuko, who said this in an interview with NewsCritic online, maintained that come September 2020, households in Umuahia and beyond will begin to have access to good drinking water.
The Abia Public Utilities and Water Resources Commissioner stressed that although it has been a long while since Abia State had the experience of clean water, he however pointed out that today it is gratifying to announce that tremendous work has been done towards achieving the September date to provide safe water to Abia residents.
According to him, what they are going to do in September is to introduce raw water, otherwise known as non-commercial water to Umuahia and environs, which would help to locate burst pipes for repairs. He said after this phase they can now send out water that everyone can drink.
Said the Commissioner, “we are going to send non-revenue water now, to give water to over 70 thousand households with water metres. We will have public taps (stands), but it will be regulated. People can use as they like, but they should know there is a token to pay that will be proportional to the amount of water you consume, which we will use for maintenance”, he explains.
He regretted that for over 20 years Abia residents do not have access to portable drinking water, adding that very soon the ministry will carry out a total turnaround maintenance at Umuahia regional water scheme which is about 42-years moribund. Nwabuko said when “we return to full functionality we will serve up to Obowo in Imo State in a scheme designed to run 24 hours per day and seven days in a week.
He disclosed that the water would be pumped from the industrial Well which will be treated and chlorinated, adding that the Well is capable of producing 700 cubic metres per hour for Umuahia and its environs, including Uzoakoli, Ndioro, Ubakala, Nsulu, Umuopara etc.
The General Manager Abia Water Board, Engr Leo Ogbonna told NesCritic that a lot of reforms have been carried out in the sector and a water business master plan put in place, which will attract so many investors into the sector. He said “now Abia State has a water policy that will protect the investor, before now there was none, he adds.
He said that apart from rehabilitating over nine Industrial Wells, the Ministry has equally undertaken the rehabilitation of the pump house.
The GM said the board is poised to use good drinking water to decongest our hospitals, adding that Umuahia municipality will have access to potable water now. Over 21 motorbikes have been procured for their operations, according to the Engr Ogbonna. He said the scheme is not limited to Umuahia alone as it covers Aba, Ariaria, Ohafia and other cities in Abia State.