Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at the twilight of his first tenure declared a state of emegency on water, setting up a committee to improve water supply in the state with himself as chairman.
The reason for this is not far fetched as water is known to be one of the basic necessities of life.
We need water to drink, cook, wash, bath, in manufacturing, construction and production.
In fact, there is no aspect of human life where water is not needed and perhaps that is why water occupies 71% of the earth’s surface, leaving land with 29%.
Water can be sourced from river, rain or pipe borne through bore hole and other water schemes, including dams.
The realization of the importance of water to the people informed the establishment of a Ministry for Water Resources Development by the Delta State Government, with the Delta State Urban Water Board and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency as the operational arms.
Unfortunately though, the Ministry and its parastatals have failed in their mandate and responsibilities despite the huge annual budgetary allocations to the water sector.
The Urban Water Board exists only in name with its key operational facilities, including the Water Quality Control Laboratory at the Board’s headquarters in Asaba morribund.
None of the state government’s water schemes in any part of the state, especially in the state capital Asaba could be said to be fully functional, although the management of the Board had disputed this even without any public water supply to show.
All the Board keeps talking about is metering of consumers when there is no water to consume.
The Board had also attributed its failure to old water bearing underground pipes that needed to be replaced as well as the issue of power supply at its Central Headworks and zonal offices which could have been fixed with the annual budgets.
One can rightly say that the water sector is the only area that the Okowa administration has not done well due to lack of direction by the relevant authorities.
Thanks to Governor Okowa for declaring a state of emergency on water which is aimed at making water available to the people and checking the menace of open defecation and unhealthy sanitary habits occasioned by the lack of water.
Thanks also to landlords and private bore hole operators who have come to the rescue without which the water situation in the state capital territory would have been terrible.
Whoever would be assigned to the Ministry of Water Resources Development as commissioner should see the failure of the Delta state water sector as a challenge and be prepared to take drastic steps to add the sector to the success list of Governor Okowa.
This should be done irrespective of whose ox is gored.