Abia State Water Board currently have 57 existing water scheme which unfortunately have become moribund. In order to input best practices and to ensure that the agency thrives, Water board has been segmented to three sectors
- Abia Water and Sewage Corporation for the urban areas which is an area that has a population of 20,000 and above persons
- Small town for semi-urban areas: an area that has a population of between 5000-20,000 persons
- RUWASSA is for the rural areas which has a population of 5,000 and below.
To allow sustainability and easy management, each of this sub-sectors are going to have individual General Manager managing it. For instance, in the rural area where majority of the population still use the pit latrine, it is the duty of the General Manager for RUWASSA to educate the population on how to use the better facilities that we would be providing.
We have 57 existing water schemes which became moribund because the government earlier made the availability of water a political tool by promising to provide safe water if elected. However, the government failed to consider the cost incurred for delivery of safe and healthy water. The agency would now be run as a business entity.
The existing 57 water schemes were being revived so that people would have access to good drinking water as well as good hygiene and sanitation. There would be criteria for picking the urban sector for the urban sector still controls a higher chunk of this whole activity within.
A study had earlier been carried out, the study confirmed that the congestion occurring in the hospitals was linked to the poor management of the health sector. Majority of occurring deaths was as a result of water related diseases. Even patients who survived were re-infected with the same source, the soak-aways and septic tanks are overflown, infected with rodents and pests which would always creep into people’s houses. A mismanagement of this sector affects both the rich and the poor adversely, As an example, majority of the food item we consume are produced locally, while we cannot verify the hygiene policies of the persons producing such food items, it is therefore imperative that these policies are imbibed by everyone.
In order to decongest the hospitals, we have to effectively manage the water, sanitation and hygiene sector and create better policies. We have commenced rehabilitations of Umuahia, Ohafia, Aba, Ubakala, these are the biggest cities, it would be effective this first quarter and if we return production of safe drinking water to these areas, we have captured the biggest cities in Abia.
Our activities is inclusive of all the sectors, the Abia Urban Water WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) both rural, semi-urban sector. At present, there is an existing robust investment master plan that details tariff adjustment, the laws and policies that could attract the investors to the sector. Previously, all these policies were not in place which could be challenging for potential investors.
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