The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has restated that his government is creating a water market system that will ensure the supply of cleaner, safer, more convenient and affordable water to Edo residents.
Obaseki gave the assurance during an inspection tour of Ewohimi, Ugboha and Uromi water supply scheme in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State.
The governor noted: “We have inspected several projects but the main project is building the water gathering system at Ugboha. It is a facility that takes water from Ugboha River into the pumping stations and then into the storage tanks.
“The Federal Government project ended with the building of the facilities and not the reticulation. What was handed over to us was the facilities to first gather the water and move it into the central storage facilities.”
The governor said his administration is putting all modalities in place to reactivate all water schemes in Ugboha, Ewohimi and Uromi in Edo Central Senatorial District, while plans are on for the Ojerami water supply system at Edo North Senatorial District.
He further reassured that his administration will not deprive the people of public water supply.
According to him, “In Edo State, we have focused on water supply and see no reason why our people should not enjoy public water supply; there’s no reason why this water should not be supplied to our people in their homes.”
“This means, laying pipes to several communities and ensuring that the water is channeled into homes and areas where it will be used; it takes time and it’s expensive,” he noted.
The governor continued: “I will be the last Governor to keep our people thirsty from public water supply because there is no reason for that. We have looked at the water market and separated it into urban and rural water demand.
“For urban water demand, you need to have a large water system, with large pumping station pipes from where water is moved to central locations before they are moved to various homes.
“For small towns, it will not be economic to have such investments because of the limited number of people living in the area. Small town water authorities will do this because it will be cheaper to get underground water, not surface water.”
Obaseki said to estimate the demand, the citizens must form water associations and get their members registered.
He said, “We would construct large boreholes where we can harvest underground water into the main collection system and distribute within those small communities.
But to be viable, the community will form water associations and get their members, who will buy this water so that they will continue to maintain and sustain the facilities.
“In large towns like Uromi, Ubiaja particularly in Edo Central where there is challenge getting underground water, we have decided to reactivate all the water schemes, in Ugboha, Uromi, Ojirami, Ewohimi; we are revamping them and putting up a system to recover the cost.
“We want to thank the European Union who provided some of the money, while we pay our own counterpart fund. This will help us have one of the most successful private and public sector partnerships in solving water supply issues.”