- Dearth of potable water, other infrastructure hits Umunze, Anambra state
- Residents lament situation, appeal to the government for urgent attention
- State commissioner says government plans better days for infrastructural development
For the people of Umunze community, Orumba South local government area of Anambra state, electricity, good access road and pipe borne water are daily becoming elusive to them.
Despite playing host to a federal institution like Federal College of Education, the community is said to be in dire need of infrastructure especially pipe borne water as residents currently suffer much to fetch water in the community.
One of the residents, John Attah, a businessman in the community told WITHIN NIGERIA that the community lacks every social amenity.
” Sometimes I wonder if Umunze is not part of Anambra where Prof. Charles Soludo is the governor. Here road network, we don’t have. Electricity is also a big problem. The worst and most challenging is potable.”
Narrating further, Attah explained that ” we live like no man’s land here. The available and working borehole we have here was built by a philanthropist. The borehole is being powered by solar energy. Every morning, come and queue for people who want to fetch water before going to school, market or other engagement for the day.”
Appealing to the government of Prof. Soludo, Attah reminded the state government that Umunze is not just an ordinary community but headquarters of Orumba South local government area.
However, expressing his displeasure his over the development, another resident, Chief Sam Otti narrated that the situation is becoming unbearable to the residents.
“As early as 5.30am, men, women and children rushed to a solar-powered water borehole built by a son of the Community for his people. The struggle for this ‘liquid gold’ is not for the weak.
“From a long distance, children push wheelbarrow with gallons of water before they prepare for school. The sight of elderly women dragging buckets and gallons of water along the road makes one wonder why basic needs in Nigeria have become diamonds in the sky.”
Chief Otti further stressed that “Few individuals that have water boreholes in their compounds couldn’t pump water because electricity supply ceased for the past two weeks in the area.
“When Nigerian Senators take delivery of N160million luxury jeep to add to their fleet of cars, they become the gods of our land. They become idols of worship by people pining in misery. Our politicians ascend to the highest heaven of affluence, while the citizens they represent descend to the endless pit of hell, choked by severe deprivation.
“True leadership is not about feathering the nests of politicians, but making life better for the citizens. Leadership is not about posh cars and cozy mansions, but service to the people. Citizens do not ask for gold. Rather, they demand water, good roads, improved health system, security of their lives and property, job opportunities and nothing more.”
In any case, all efforts to get the reaction of the state Commissioner for Power and Water resources, Engr. Julius Chukwuemeka proved abortive.
However, a senior Aide to the commissioner who pleaded anonymity told WITHIN NIGERIA that, the state government has inaugurated the conduct of Hydrogeological and Hydrological Mapping and Modeling for Water Source Potentials in the state.
According to the Aide, it is a partnership between the State Ministry of Power and Water Resources and Tona Geological Consultants (Consortium) Nigeria Limited.
Explaining he said that “this is in line with the determination of Governor Chukwuma Soludo in providing portable water solution innovation for the people of the state.
“The State Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Engineer Julius Chukwuemeka said that the project goes beyond drilling boreholes and installing water pumps.’
In the words of the Honourable Commissioner,“the baseline data collected here will serve as a foundation for evidence-based planning, policy formulation and sustainable water resource management.
“The programme which is a fulfillment of a major manifesto promise of the governor will also provide baseline data to aid the development of a master plan for proper planning.
“This is because valuable insights will be gained into the quantity, quality and distribution of ground and surface water across the various aquifers thereby allowing for informed decisions regarding water resource management and development in the state.
“We are working with three documents, including Soludo Manifesto, Anambra Vision 2070 Report and the Transition Committee Report.
“This water project will help us to plan well and properly allocate the meager resources we have in the state.”