The Anambra State Government has restated its plan to provide and maintain functional water facilities in all communities of the State, with an improved access and door-to-door supply to every household.
The State’s Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Engr. Julius Chukwuemeka disclosed this during a joint stakeholders interaction between the government and the indigenes of Neni community in Anaocha Local Government Area of the State, where the government is said to test-run the new model.
According to the Commissioner, the new model, known as Private Public Community Partnership (PPCP), which is the first of its kind in the country, will have both the private sector, the government, and the community actively involved in the project and initiative, both in the pre-execution stage, the execution stage, and the post-execution stage (the management and maintenance).
He added that the joint stakeholders interaction, which held at the palace of the Traditional Ruler of Neni, was a follow-up to the earlier MoU the state government signed with the other parties involved in the project during the recently-concluded 2023 Anambra Investment Summit, and which also defines the aspect of involvement and parts expected to be played by each of the three parties involved —the government, the private firm, and the community itself.
He recalled that the inventory earlier undertaken by his ministry identified lack of community involvement (which makes the community not to maintain and take full ownership of the projects in their town), and the use of diesel-powered generators for the operation of the facilities as two major factors responsible for the failures of many water schemes in different parts of the state shortly after they were launched.
He, however, said that those two factors were carefully considered and addressed in the newly launched model — the PPCP Model; which, he said, would be replicated in other communities in the state if the pilot phase being implemented in Neni yields the expected results.
Commissioner Chukwuemeka, further appreciated the stakeholders and all who have shown interest and contributed so far towards the initiative, while also calling for transparency and sustained partnership.
“We are hopeful that before the end of next year, our target of having house-to-house, door-to-door water supply in the Neni community will be actualized.
“And, I must re-emphasize at this time that Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo is committed to the well-being of Ndị Anambra, and that is why he is working seriously hard to make things work and to address all factors besetting water production and reticulation in the state, as enshrined in his vision to make Anambra state a clean, livable and prosperous homeland,” he said.
Earlier speaking, the Traditional Ruler of Neni, Igwe Damian Ezeani, appreciated the Soludo-led administration for its interest in commitment and visible efforts in transforming the state’s water sector and begining it with Neni. He expressed optimism that the initiative would succeed and also be emulated by other state’s in the country.
The pilot scheme of the novel PPCP model will be supervised by Messrs BIRSA Water Ltd.
Giving more overview on how the model will work, the MD/CEO of Messrs BIRSA Water Ltd, who is also an indigene of Neni community, Engr. Enidom said the community would fund the pipeline network, while the state government will develop all the 4nos borehole fields; even as he further assured that the collaboration would also make water available in all public facilities, including schools, health centers, worship centers, and the markets.
Others who spoke at the event include the member representing Anaocha II Constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Ejike Okechukwu, who also hails from the community; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power and Water Resources, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Uzoka; the MD/CEO, Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr. Mark Okoye.
Others include the TC Chairman for Anaocha Local Government Area, Hon. Gerald Ikechukwu Ozoh; the MD/CEO, Urban Water Asset Holdings Corporation, Hon. Ikeobi Ejiofor; the Director, Water Resources Department, Mr. Victor Ezekwuo, among other stakeholders, who all commended the initiative and gave further suggestions on how to make it work well and bear with expected fruit.
The stakeholders’ interaction was also joined virtually by stakeholders of the community living in different parts of the world.