Enugu – To boost access to portable water supply in Enugu State, the state government Yesterday commissioned a water project and an ultramodern hall worth over N50 million in Umulaligbo, Egwu Achi autonomous community, Oji River Local Government Area of the state.
The project was built by a group under the aegis of Sons of Umulaligbo Progressive Association, SUPA, who built the borehole in accordance with the programme of Replenish Africa Initiative, RAIN, to provide access to sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene services to over four communities in Egwu Achi and Achi in general.
Commissioning the borehole, the Commissioner for Rural Development, Hon Emeka Mamah commended the leadership of the association for providing portable water to the community which is in line with the state government agenda considering the importance of water to life.
Mama who was represented by the Director of Rural Development, Mr, Godwin Ezeilo expressed gratitude, assuring that state government would support in building other infrastructural development needed in the community.
“I am grateful to see this gigantic edifice built by your administration. Since you did this great work while acting, when you become the President General, PG, of Egwu Achi, you will change the entire community to a modern city. The state government knows what you need and will support you in achieving it”, he said.
Earlier, the acting chairman of SUPA Mr Chinedu Eze, in a welcome address disclosed that the association constructed the borehole to address the age-long suffering of Umulaligbo in accessing portable water.
Mr Eze said that based on the importance of portable water to mankind, they were able to save money realised from internally generated revenue to construct the borehole and the ultra-modern hall.
“The large concentration of contaminated soil particles resulting from open air defection and some other life threatening activities on the soil also finds their way into the natural streams, rivers and springs. Suffice it to state here that the essential nature of water to man can never be over flogged.
“Imbued with this assertion therefore, Umulaligbo could not hesitate in taking the proactive measure aimed at preventing the ugly effect of water scarcity and pollution, hence the planning and the execution of our massive water project that has for the past three months alleviated the suffering of our people who before now would trek miles into the bush in search of safe drinking water.
“Another heavy achievement which we are celebrating today is our ultra-modern community hall; a project anchored on the need for owning ones base from which one operates. It will serve as a symbol of our opinion centre,” he said.
Also speaking, the chairman of the project committee, Evang, Harbert Aruzuruoke, while appealing for state government assistant to reticulate the water to the community, disclosed that they pump 8,000 gallons daily and sold for free.
Evang, Aruzuruoke while lamenting the suffering of community in accessing medical treatment, appealed with state government to help them build a hospital in the community.
“The community pumps about 8,000 liters twice daily and it is given for free to the community.
We are appealing for government assistant to reticulate the water in the community to make it accessible to the elderly women. We don’t have hospital in our community; our women go to our neighbouring village during antenatal and delivery. We also want government to help us build hospital, roads and Schools,” he appealed.
One of the women who spoke to vanguard, Mrs Olumefolu Precious, expressing joy, said Umulaligbo has never experienced an intervention of this magnitude and impact since my time as a wife in this community. She said “after years of suffering due to lack of potable water, you can see what it means to the people from the excitement on our faces.”
“Today we are celebrating the inauguration of borehole and ultramodern hall built for us by our husbands. I am very happy because the project will help us improve our lives. We have been suffering before the intervention come. I was imagining marrying to the community because of suffering being encountered in search of drinking water but today we have it.
Our women are very happy today because almost 90% of our daily activities need water and today we have it. We are relief and encouraged to embark on our daily household activities,” she said.