Wanted: Rehabilitation of Arochukwu Water Scheme We Need Portable Water – Aros Cry Out

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Ogbonnaya Akoma

In the Second Republic politics, the government of Imo state, under the leadership of Chief Sam Mbakwe, had thought it necessary and wise that the good people of Arochukwu should have and drink portable and wholesome water for their well-being. So, Chief Mbakwe decided to give the people pipe-borne water. In doing that, he had spent about N22M in laying the pipes, building the necessary structures and things that were needed to pump water to the people, including workers of Arochukwu LGA and sundry staff of the various federal and state ministries, departments and agencies who worked therein.

Following that development, water started flowing in the town of Arochukwu, to the delight of the people who started to have access to portable and wholesome water for drinking and other purposes until that regime was brought to an abrupt end on 31 December, 1983 through a military coup.

When the soldiers came, things started to change for bad gradually and, with time, water stopped flowing totally from the taps as some of them fell off, started rusting, while the rest were either vandalised or stolen, with the result that today, the people of Arochukwu no longer have access to pipe-borne water to drink, and the implication of this is that the people have since resorted to drinking all sorts of water from the streams, rain, and a few boreholes dug by individuals in the town!

The result, again, is that all those conditions associated with unwholesome water are commonplace among the people. One of them bothers on the spread of water-borne infections. Gastro-enteritis had occurred in the town (at Asaga) some years ago, the spread of which had been handled by the relevant government agencies. In 1987, there had been reported cases of cholera in the town that took the intervention of the Ministry of Health then to contain and control. The meaning of this is that some diseases associated with unwholesome water have since been noticed in the town that the provision of piped water will be a check on them now. This is why the need to provide piped water becomes the right thing to do now.

Come to think of it, why Arochukwu water scheme (built more than thirty years ago with public funds) has not been rehabilitated all along beats the people hollow, including the writer. After the Second Republic politics, there had been military administrations, and from 1999, civilian administrations. None of those regimes, particularly from 1991 Abia State was carved out from the old Imo State, had thought it good and necessary to rehabilitate Arochukwu water scheme till today!

Those regimes had come and gone without doing anything to give the people of Arochukwu water to drink; in the interest of their health. This is really unfair. Sometime in the past, local radio stations had announced that the water scheme would be rehabilitated to the delight of the people. Alongside the purported intention of Abia state government to rehabilitate the water scheme, it was also announced that all internal roads in the town of Arochukwu would be tarred! Those announcements raised the hopes of the people that Abia state government was going to remember the hitherto neglected town of Arochukwu. But yeas after those announcements, nothing had been done either to rehabilitate Arochukwu water scheme or tar the internal roads!

That is why it becomes pertinent that the present Abia state government should step in and rehabilitate Arochukwu water scheme as well as the internal roads. Aros say they need portable water to drink.

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Ogbonnaya Akoma

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