Besides massive roads reconstruction and other infrastructural projects, one particular giant stride of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State is provision of water. The problem of water supply to Enugu metropolis had become as old as the city itself. Sources of water abound in the state. But the problem has been distribution. There are the World Bank-assisted water project at Oji-River built and completed and the Ajalli Water Reservoir. But the snag is how to distribute the available water. The water pipes laid by the colonial masters in 1920’s have all rusted and weakened. Successive administrations were not interested in replacing them, ostensibly due to the enormous funds involved. And every now and then, the old pipes burst. The situation became taxing for workers at the water corporation. Instead, the government would embark on replacement of the pipes, they rather prefer mending them, hence problem of water persisted in Enugu. But Governor Ugwuanyi had a different view. For him, water is, unarguably, one of the most important basic needs of man. All through history, the success or otherwise of governments in all climes have been measured and predicated on how well they have been able to provide basic needs of the people, especially water. Before his administration came on board, water supply in Enugu State was the worst problem long declared to be intractable by preceding administrations. But that era has since become history with the breakthroughs recorded by the Ugwuanyi administration in the areas of regular water generation and distribution in both the urban and rural areas. The most significant and conspicuous of these achievements, however, is the government’s successes in the area of urban water supply. Recently, the government announced its plans to ensure adequate uninterrupted water supply in Enugu metropolis and Nsukka to meet up with increasing demand. The Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Charles Egumgbe told reporters that the state government was targeting 40,000 cubic meters of water supply by the end of the year to ensure that the people enjoy adequate supply. Egumgbe noted that the last executive 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 centred on water production, reticulation as well as power supply. The Commissioner stated that Governor 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 N170 million for the maintenance of water facilities at Ajali and Oji River Water Plants to further boost supply. He revealed that the state presently generates 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 and 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”, 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 last executive meeting. It was aimed at ensuring that both in the short-term and long-term, we will have water within Enugu metropolis and Nsukka as well.
Local Government Area