By Raymond Ugwu
22nd March 2021
Our famous afro music legend, late Fela Kuti in one of his songs sang and I quote “Water, e no get enemy” meaning that water is enemy to no one or simply put that water is everybody’s friend not withstanding, race, tribe, gender, religion and what have you and so it’s essentiality to human survival can never be overemphasized.
Also, a recent report released by UNICEF states that about 70 million people in Nigeria, out of the total population of 200 million, lacked access to clean and portable water and about 124,000 children under the age of five die because of diarrhea that is mainly caused by unsafe water, bad sanitation and bad hygiene.
Enugu state is not left out in this crises as successive governments have failed to find cogent ways to tackle the challenge. Just recently, the acute water scarcity in the state made headline in various Media platforms. Residents were captured struggling for water as though they were struggling for crude.
There is no doubt that water has been one of the major problems facing Enugu residents both in urban and rural areas. While the urban residents are at the mercy of tanker water suppliers, the rural dwellers only resort to traveling over 50 kilometers away from home in search of water that are mostly not hygienic for human consumption as it is often contaminated by all kinds of jams and bacteria.
It is based on the foregoing that the writer, Comrade Raymond Ugwu, proffers solutions that will aid to ameliorate the challenges in the state and bring it to a permanent end.
DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM
• COMMUNITY BASE STRATEGY:
The continuous concentration on Central water stations like the Ajali water station, Oji-River water Station has failed to provide adequate water supply to Enugu residents and so should be discouraged as this water stations where constructed when Enugu was estimated to have about three to five million population. It is pertinent to note that almost all the autonomous communities in the state have a river that run either in or through the borderline. Government should therefore take advantage of this by constructing mini water dams and boreholes along the river lines. The dams and boreholes when constructed must be equipped with advanced water treatment and filtration plants. The filtered water will be transmitted from the filtration plant to households for use in form of pipe-borne water.
•PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE:
Government can incorporate private investors in the task by making the sector look so lucrative through designing and development of good policies that will protect their interests and at the same time affordable to residents. Improvements made in the power sector through privatization is a good example of how private investors can help to improve on people’s livelihood when incorporated.
•WATER RECLAIM STRATEGY:
Rainwater harvesting and recycled wastewater also allow to reduce scarcity and ease pressures on groundwater and other natural water bodies. Groundwater recharge, that allows water moving from surface water to groundwater, is a well-known process to prevent water scarcity.
•POLLUTION CONTROL & BETTER SEWAGE TREATMENT:
Without proper sanitation, the water becomes full of diseases and unsafe to drink. That is why it is of Paramount and essential to address pollution, measure and monitor water quality. Also, improving the sewage systems in specific areas is another way of making water scarcity a history in our society.
•EDUCATION & AWARENESS CREATION:
Education is critical in solving the water crisis. In fact, in order to cope with future water scarcity, it is necessary to radically reform all forms of consumption, from individual use to the supply chains of large companies.
Finally, for Enugu to enjoy sustainable water supply, Government, all the relevant agencies, ministries, Organisations, and well meaning individuals should jointly work assiduously to put all hands on desk in solving this all important problem to enable our people enjoy affordable good water supply.
Let’s join hand to make Coal city, water Scarcity free.
Raymond Ugwu is the Enugu state Publicity Secretary, Accord Party,
A trained Journalist and Public Relations Practitioner
A political/Social Commentator,
Online News Publisher
@Pure News Reporters Ltd