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57 N’Delta Communities To Get FG’s Water Project

No fewer than 57 communities in five states in the Niger Delta Region are to benefit from the Federal Government’s community water project, according to the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Dr Steve Oru.

Oru, who made this known during an interview with newsmen in Abuja recently, said the benefitting communities were in Imo, AkwaIbom, Cross River and Ondo and Delta states.

Oru said that three water supply projects in Bayelsa, AkwaIbom and Rivers States had been completed, while others were awaiting financial appropriation for award.

He said that rural communities in the Niger Delta region had difficulties accessing potable water.

“Water supply is the greatest unmet challenge in rural areas, mainly caused by either poor design or lack of maintenance.

“Only 45 per cent of rural communities in the South-South region have improved sanitation, even improved pit latrines.

“Field visits by the ministry documented that only about one quarter of the piped water systems were observed to be in functional condition.

“In many communities, this tragedy is compounded by the numerous dysfunctional water projects of varying ages and designs seen close by.

“Some are unfinished. Most have broken down or are missing a simple spare part.

“Typically, the only reliable source for these rural residents remains the unsafe water of the nearby creek,” Oru said.

The minister also said that reasons for poor water supply were often technical and human rather than a function of nature.

Oru noted that in off-grid communities, hand pumps or solar water systems with tank, tower water filtration (for taste) and standpipes, were often seen.

“Generators are expensive and rare and thus far, applications of solar technology to water pumps have been hampered by inappropriate engineering requiring conversion from AC (solar) to DC (pump).

“Conversion is a weak link, apparently causing over 90 per cent of system failure in a recent NDDC solar water project. AC pumps are available,” he said.

The minister said that even appropriate technology, however, required maintenance.

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