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CSOs canvass passage of Enugu State Water Bill

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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Enugu State, yesterday, canvassed speedy passage of the state’s water bill, even as they resolved to tackle and end water scarcity in the metropolis.

The state’s situation grew worse this year, as residents experienced difficulty in accessing water for domestic use and resorted to buying water from vendors at exorbitant rates.

But at a workshop on Human Right To Water And Accountability In Enugu State Water Sector, organised by Claim Your Water Right Team, led by Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation, they lamented that delay in the passage of the bill had worsened the water situation of the state.

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The Claim Your Water Right Team comprises 13 Civil Society Organisations based in the state, among which are the Global Society for Anti-Corruption, Daniel Ukwu Leadership Foundation, Town Crier Africa Initiative, Inspire Education Initiative, Impactfield Initiative, WASFID and LaunchBux, among others.

Country Director of Hope Spring Water, Temple Oraeki, said the water bill, which provides for regulatory commission of water resources in the state, had been dormant since it was sent to the State House of Assembly in March 2020.

He stated that access to clean water was a prerequisite for healthy living and a fundamental human right, stressing that they were concerned that residents were sourcing water from unhygienic sources apart from stress involved in getting essential item.

Oraeki stated that water had remained essential part of human existence and access to water for use was a fundamental right, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Country Director, Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC), Mrs. Amaka Nweke attributed the perennial scarcity of water in the state to greed and corruption, especially among tanker drivers, alleging that they usually extort the people because of water scarcity in the state.

But Chairman, Water Tanker Drivers Union, Enugu State, Ifeatu Igbodike, blamed the perennial scarcity on the activities of Water Corporation and poor road network from Ugwuonyeama to Ninth Mile in Ngwo, Udi Council.

He lamented the excruciating experience his members go through to take water into Enugu urban, stressing that members of the union die yearly on the dilapidated Ugwuonyeama road.

Special Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on water resources, Dubem Onyia, however, attributed the scarcity to vandalisation, stressing however, that the state government was tackling the challenge.

He stated that the demand for water had overwhelmed existing facilities, assuring that the ongoing maintenance would provide a permanent solution to water challenge in the state.

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