Delta State Government is to embark on commissioning of over one hundred and ten water schemes executed in the last six months by the Okowa’s led administration.
Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Hon Samuel Mariere, who disclosed this during an interactive session with newsmen in his office at Asaba, said most of the completed water schemes are new, while others were moribund water schemes that were reactivated and made functional in several parts of the state, including the riverine areas.
Hon Mariere disclosed that the projects were either direct intervention by the ministry of Water Resources Development, or carried out by parastatals under its supervision, including Delta State Rural Water Development Agency, Delta State Urban Water Development Agency, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency and Small Town Water Corporation.
He explained that the projects are too many to go round commissioning them, hence selected few for ceremonial flag off, while others would be handed over to benefiting communities without much ado.
Mariere who listed some of the functional urban water supply schemes to include those in Bomadi, Patani, Obiaruku, Owa Ekei, Ugwanja in Sapele, Owa Oyibu, Orerokpe, Owa Alero and Ute Erumu, added that the contractors that handled the projects had been fully paid.
He disclosed that most of the urban water schemes in the state are working, but need reticulation and repairs of broken pipes and lines.
The Water Resources Commissioner said contracts for the State Capital Territory water schemes, involving Asaba, Okpanam, Ibusa and environs, had been awarded, pointing out that the contractors would soon mobilize to site.
He said, on completion, a model would be worked out for private sector management team to run the schemes for a period of one year, with a view to ensuring efficiency, pointing out that the main objective was to be sure that every household in capital city territory had access to potable water.
Mariere who identified poor power supply, theft and vandalism as challenges militating against effective water supply system in the state, urged the benefitting communities to take ownership of the water schemes to be able to protect and take full advantage of them.
He invited individuals who could effectively run any of the over 110 urban and rural water schemes in different parts of the state to partner with the government, especially in the area of alternative power supply, promising that the partnership would be beneficial to interested persons.
The Commissioner disclosed that a new treatment plant would soon come on board in Warri North, stressing that in few weeks time portable water would be delivered to many communities in the creek.
Hon Mariere also disclosed the approval of over Four Billion Naira as surety to the concessionaires of the Warri-Effurun Water Scheme to ensure affordable potable water supply in the localities by the state government.
He said the State government decided to assuage the fears of the concessionaire to reap returns on their investment, noting ‘’the concessionaires (DonDomingo Water Company) needed us to guarantee that people will buy the water because they have spent billions on the scheme and may only recover their investment if the residents patronize the system.
‘’So, at the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, we agreed to guarantee that in the unlikelihood that people refuse to buy the water for the first six months, the state government will reimburse them (concessionaire) the cost of getting the water to our people in Warri and its environs’’, Mariere stated.
The water resources commissioner said that the Warri Water Scheme would be reticulated soon to the homes of residents once the guarantee payment scaled through all bureaucratic bottlenecks.
‘’Today, we can say that more than 110 water schemes are functioning in Delta State. The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, within the past six months, has either rehabilitated moribund water schemes or established new ones. I believe that Deltans are better for it.
‘’Today, Okowa has given water to the people of Delta like never before. By the grace of God, we will continue to do more by way of intervention until the end of this administration,’’ he concluded.