Water Resources Development Committee of the Delta State House of Assembly has promised to support initiatives for the reactivation of existing water schemes across the state.
The Committee’s chairman, Honourable Peter Uviejitobor, made the promise when he led other members of the committee on a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the State Ministry of Water Resources Development in Asaba.
Honourable Uviejitobor and his team, including Honorables Austin Uroye, Charles Onyiyere, Emmanuel Sinebe, Asupa Forteta and Pat Ajudua were received on arrival by the Commissioner in-charge of the ministry, Honourable Martins Okonta.
The Lawmaker said the visit was to familiarize members of the Committee with the officials of the ministry, including Heads of Paraststals under it, ahead of the presentation of the 2020 budget proposals to the State Assembly and budget defence by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Honourable Uviejitobor, representing the Udu Constituency in the House, pointed out the need for a robust synergy between the Committee and the Ministry for enhance efficiency in the Ministry.
He said the Committee should be properly acquainted with the challenges facing the Ministry to enable it assist in finding solution to them.
The Committee chairman stressed that there was the need to reactivate the water schemes across the state for improved public water supply and that would be possible through effective collaboration of stakeholders.
The Commissioner for Water Resources Development, Honourable Martins Okonta, told the visiting legislators that the Ministry was key to the Stronger Delta vision of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
Honourable Okonta, a former Speaker of the State Assembly, acknowledged that the task ahead was enormous, saying that government was doing a lot to ensure adequate water supply in the state as the Governor had declared a state of emergency in the water sector.
The Commissioner said the passage of the Water Bill by the Delta State House of Assembly led to the setting up of an inter ministerial committee and drafting of implementation action plans.
He stated that N13bn had been expended on the Warri/Effurun Water Scheme through a concession arrangement, disclosing that there were over 600 water schemes across the state.
Honourable Okonta also disclosed that Governor Okowa recently approved the installation of treatment plants in public water schemes, saying that the Ministry was seeking the intervention of corporate bodies in public water supply in the state.
He enumerated the challenges facing the Ministry to include inadequate budgetary allocation, poor electricity supply to the water schemes, and obsolete pipes.
The Commissioner solicited the support of the Delta State House of Assembly and thanked members of the Committee for the visit.