The Delta State Government, Tuesday disclosed that 123 Water Schemes were awarded across the state within the last ten months.
Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Hon Samuel Mariere who disclosed this in Asaba, said of the 123 water schemes, 40 were built or being rehabilitated under the World Bank-Federal Ministry of Water Resources- Delta State SURWASH programme.
Hon Mariere, a one time Chairman, Delta State Assembly Committee on Water Resources, who listed the projects, dates of awards, locations and level of completion, attributed the development to a caught out vision for the water sector by the state government.
Mariere stated that his desire to see Deltans have portable water to drink and use for various purposes was matched with the energy to deliver, stressing that the success story he is boasting of in the last ten months as Commissioner in the Ministry of water resources was as a result of the support from the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and cooperation by management team and staff of the ministry.
“I stand very happy and fulfilled today looking back about 10 months ago, when I was specifically assigned with the responsibility of turning around for better Ministry of Water Resources by His Excellency, Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa.
“Despite some challenges we met on ground on assumption of office, we were able to lunch into massive activities and development that the ministry and the water sector have not experienced in recent times. Files after files, proposals after proposals were approved, hence the success story we are boasting of today”, Mariere said.
The Commissioner disclosed that a set of 73 Water Schemes were awarded by the Ministry and its agencies out of which 9 are ongoing, while 64 completed and are in good working condition except the Tusun and Kolokolo water scheme in Alero Creeks, Warri North where a delineation treatment plant is needed to be installed.
“It should be noted that the Ministry of Water Resources Development under our watch successfully completed the State Water Master Plan. We also completed the Performance Improvement Action Plan, PIAP, for the various agencies. That development attracted a reward of two point five million dollars from the World Bank, although we are yet to receive the money.
Hon Mariere disclosed that the World Bank recently released the sum of one million dollars to the state as initial advance from which the state paid 25% for the awarded water schemes and the consultancy charges.
On the multi million naira Warri-Effurun Water Scheme, the Commissioner said government could not achieve the deadline earlier announced as a result of unforeseen development.
“Another project that was so dear to His Excellency was the concession of the Warri-Effurun Water Scheme. This project that started during the old Bendel State is now concluded and ready to distribute water to the homes of those in Warri South, Uvwie and Udu local government areas of the state.
“The major huddle was the request by the concessionaire and the financial institution for a guarantee that when the water is produced, within thirty six months, the state will agree to offset the short falls above 20% and below 70% of revenue”, Mariere explained.
He disclosed that the development led to the recent approval by the State Executive Council of a guarantee of about four point five billion naira which was also rectified by the State House of Assembly.
“We can say without fear of contradiction and by the grace of God that in the next three months, the water story in Asaba, the state capital to Okpanam and Ibusa, Warri, Uvwie, Udu and many communities both in the riverine and up land will be for better”, the Commissioner assured.