World Water Day:
Can we ever have good drinking water in Anambra ?
On 22 March 2023,the world observes the World Water Day.The United Nations dedicated it to ensure clean water and sanitation for all.
This year’s focus is about “accelerating change to solve water and sanitation crisis around the world”.
Availability of clean water is essential in the lives of humans and animals.Without portable water,lives are threatened and humanity is doomed.
The body chemistry is such that about 95 percent of the human body,if not more,depends water.The entire blood system circulates with water.
The popular parlance which says that,”Water is everywhere but none to drink comes to mind”.
Action about provision of portable water for citizens is not being taken seriously by various governments around the world,especially in Nigeria and Anambra state in particular.
Yearly budgets are wasted on frivolities without a definite action plan to effect the necessary change towards provision of such essential facility to the people.
We mention Anambra state particularly because as they say,”Charity begins at home”.
Anambra is on the wrong side of history in provision of water as a basic necessity of life.
For more than 25 years,various state governments only gave lip service to provision of pipe borne water while all the water service and maintenance institutions collapsed.
The Anambra State Water Corporation,the state water agency is moribund and all the locations of water treatment/supply infrastructure vandalised in Onitsha,Awka,Nnewi,Ekwulobia and many other towns from where in the past,treated water was served the communities.
With the passing regimes,water services were relegated to the background while those trained to render the services have been languishing.
It is known that with the neglect and relegation of such service in Anambra,many lost their jobs and efforts were not being made to restore the services while staff deprived of their official duties were not paid their entitlements.
The Anambra State government under the leadership of Professor Chukwuma Soludo should do something about this without delay.
The governor should visit the huge abandoned World Bank assisted Nkissi Water Works in Onitsha with a view to rehabilitating the edifice which was designed to supply water to 5 local government areas around Onitsha.
Nkissi Water Works is a water treatment plant that the state cannot afford to abandon as it is already being done.It was built as a modern water works alongside that of Enugu,Abakaliki,Kaduna and other emerging cities in Nigeria.While others are still in operation since the 1980s when they were built,that of Onitsha which was targeted at the exploding population within and around the sorrounding communities went moribund many years ago.
Owing to essential nature of water,lack of it has led to spread of diseases and death of children and adults in large numbers.
Lack of water promotes poor hiegene and sanitation.
There is need to point out that most borehole sources are dirty and unwholesome for consumption owing to shallowness and infestation with bacteria due to non filtering and treatment with chemicals.
As we prepare to celebrate the year 2023 World Water Day on 22 March 2023,we call on the Anambra State government to revisit the issue of non availability of pipeborne water in Anambra State with a view to restoring it.
Road infrastructure has always taken huge chunk of the state’s yearly budgets,so,provision of water should be given necessary attention this time around.