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The anathema called “Greater Onitsha Water Scheme”

By Charles Ogbu

386

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating now, the biggest singular tragedy facing Ndigbo is the tragedy of leadership.

What you are seeing here is the GREATER ONITSHA WATER SCHEME borehole site in G.R.A, Onitsha, Anambra state. This is a World Bank assisted project aimed at providing RUNNING WATER to Onitsha and its environs. As in, you come home and open your tap and water will start running just the way it is in those places we refer to as saner clime.

In 2013, the then govt of Peter Obi paid the sum of 1.8 Billion naira to a South African company, Peterson Candy International to resuscitate the Water Scheme.

The then state Commissioner for public utilities, one Chief Emeka Nwankwu equally announced that they’ve secured a letter of credit for $700 million for the GREATER ONITSHA WATER SCHEME.

The sad thing is, as I type, most parts of the GREATER ONITSHA WATER SCHEME boreholes site have since been sold off to private individuals. The sales started last year. The implication is that the city of Onitsha may have lost a golden opportunity of having running water in over 3 decades.

At first, I thought the destruction of some of the boreholes supposedly by those who bought lands there was going on without the knowledge of the state govt, never mind that the Onitsha governor’s lodge where the state governor has been staying for over 3 months now shares a fence with the site.

So I reached out to the state chairman of physical planning board, Barrister Chike Chukwuweike who refused to respond to my question.

In responding to my WhatsApp message, the state Commissioner for public utilities, Mr Emeka Ezenwanne denied the sale of the Water Scheme site but didn’t give further explanation even as heavy duty equipment keep destroying some of the boreholes.

And I would have believed the Commissioner except I know some of the people who bought land there just as I know some who acted as land agents.

What this means is that all the 1.8 Billion paid by the previous govt is now gone. All the financial support already given and yet to be given by the world bank for the scheme gone.

Just because we have leaders who think of nothing but selling everything just to have enough money to spend as they wish.

Check the whole of Igbo-land and tell me just one city you can beat your chest and say yes, this is it! Go to Enugu, to get water, you have to speak long grammar with water tanker drivers with all their ‘shakara’.

In Onitsha, you will see someone carrying 50 litters of water to climb 5 storey building in Awada. And a governor is busy selling off a World Bank assisted water scheme site.

N’ezie, “Ịfe ólú melu Igbo dị ofu mana ife Igbo melu ọnwe fa di asaa”.

“They” inflicted one injury on Ndigbo while the latter inflicted seven injuries on themselves

A shame, isn’t it?

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