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Collapse Of Public Water System … Residents Task RSG On Meruwa

Residents of Port Harcourt have decried the poor state of public water supply and urged the Rivers State Government to solve the non-availability of portable drinking water for its citizens in the state.

This is against the backdrop of the state government’s assurance to address the issue of water security as expressed in the New Rivers Vision.

Rivers State Commissioner of Water Resources, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja had during the 2020 World Water Day celebration declared the state government’s commitment to the Port Harcourt Water Supply project which is expected to supply water to all residents of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

In a broadcast, he said the state government has fulfilled its counterparts funding obligations to the World Bank, European Union and African Development Bank adding that this has made it possible for residents of Abonnema, Kula, Abissa, Opobo, Kalaibiama, Nkoro to have portable water while the Okrika water works has been rehabilitated. 

In an interview with The Vortex correspondent in Port Harcourt, residents decried what they said was the collapse of public water system noting that they spend huge sum of money daily to buy water from truck-pushers.

According to them, government had failed to provide one of the basic needs of the people, pointing out that they were at the mercy of ‘Meruwa’ who supply water in jerry-cans from anywhere not minding its hygienic condition.

They lamented that despite huge sums of money budgeted for Water annually by the state government, portable drinking water is still a mirage; and challenged the state government to match words with action.

“It is unfortunate that we are living in a State surrounded by both salt and fresh water, but there is no water for our needs. We appeal to the state government to do the needful to avoid outbreak of water-borne diseases,” a young man who craved anonymity said.

Madam Roseline Amgbara a resident at the Borikiri axis of Port Harcourt said officials of the State Water Board had been going to inspect the waterworks office in the area even with foreigners, but no solution yet adding that the masses needed pure drinking water rather than the ones bought from trucks in cans that are not purified.

She appealed to the state government to hasten the rehabilitation of the Borikiri waterworks to enable the citizens have access to portable drinking water.

In his comment, Mr. Magnus Nzeaka said if the state government matched words with action on their pronouncement during the World Water Day Celebration, there will be an end to buying of unsafe water from ‘Meruwa’ people stating that there is no need for government to celebrate World Water Day as the citizens still do not have portable public water the state.

Also, Mrs. Joy Batubo noted that the provision of good water for the people will be a welcome development as water is essential to human life, she said the state government should rehabilitate the Port Harcourt Water Board for effective use by the people.

Charity Osai in her remarks said it will be a good thing for water to be available in every part of the state and its environs, as most people are living without portable drinking water and spending so much for water.

According to her, people will be very happy as they will no longer spend about  N300 daily to buy water from “Meruwa” men and buy Pure Water at N120 per bag, adding that if the state government provides a functioning public water system, it  will help reduce cases of typhoid, malaria and water borne diseases. She enjoined the government to do the needful without delay.

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