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Delta, USAID sign MoU on provision of water to 90,000 households


Delta State Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday in Asaba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services (E-WASH) four-year programme that commenced last year.

That effectively gives General Manager of the Delta State Water Corporation, Nosa Okoh, partial autonomy and a two-year timeline to provide water to residents, generate income and pay workers.

Secretary to the Government (SSG), Chiedu Ebie and Commissioner for Water Resources, Martins Okonta, signed the MoU on behalf of the state government, while USAID’s Country Director, who was represented by its Director, Economic Growth and Environment, Colin Dreizin, signed for the USAID Mission Office in Nigeria.

A statement issued by Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Olisa Ifeajika, quoted Ifeanyi Okowa as saying that the agreement was expected to guide Delta State in improving institutional framework for urban and rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene services for the entire state.

“This will also ensure that the state water supply services remain responsive to customers’ needs and eradicate water-borne diseases in the state and if the state gets it right with the water supply, it will improve the health of the people.”

He pledged commercialisation of the State Urban Water Supply, “As a solution to improved and sustainable urban water supply, especially as residents had resorted to procuring their private boreholes due to inefficiency in the water sector.

“I assure the people of Delta that with a strong commitment to the E-WASH programme, they will soon have access to effective water, sanitation and hygiene services.”

Speaking, Okonta noted, “I want to assure that with the increase in budgetary allocation to water and sanitation, the government is desirous of walking its talk with the resuscitation of the water treatment plants at Ogbogonogo and Ughelli.

“I am delighted to have been able to attract this development aimed at bringing water back to the homes of Delta people. With what is on ground, I assure you that the state is about becoming the best in this regard, as we will be getting clean and healthy water henceforth.”

He also stated that to resolve the electricity need of the water works, the state acquired 27 new transformers to be connected to the 33KVA, which will ensure about six-hour power supply daily.

Also, Dreizin, who was in Asaba on a five-day working visit, went to the Ogbogologo Water Works to inspect ongoing projects after a brief meeting with stakeholders.

However, some staff members of the Water Corporation, who were not comfortable with the MoU, noted that the project would succeed, if only Governor Okowa directed that within a time frame, all boreholes in government offices and quarters seize to exist and switch to the Water Corporation for water supply.

USAID E-WASH Programme Contract Office Representative, Jean Joliquor, earlier briefed the team and brainstormed to take critical decisions on his findings, saying, “We must re-strategise and be more focused instead of stretching ourselves thin without making much impact. We must focus more actively on activities that will speak directly to our indicators.”

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