9:50 AM December 06, 2021

Excavation destroys 1924 Enugu water intake work

The excavation site of Reynolds Construction Company, RCC, at Akama- Ngwo from where the company sources sand for construction of roads in Enugu state has damaged the Iva Waterwork, the oldest water supply source, to Enugu metropolis that was built by the colonial government in 1924.

The destruction has subsequently cut off the water supply to most parts of the coal city, particularly in GRA, Government House, Trans-Ekulu and other parts of the capital city which used to have 24 hours regular water supply from the intake work.

The Federal Controller of Works in Enugu state, Mr Olufemi Oyekanmi referred Vanguard to the construction company for reaction to the incident, but RCC Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Onah refused to speak with newsmen and insisted that it was the federal ministry that will speak to the press on the matter.

Conducting newsmen at the Iva water intake site, the Managing Director of Enugu state water Corporation, Engr. Martin Okwor said that Iva was one of their most reliable water supply to Enugu, built in 1924 and upgraded in 1952.

Okwor said that it was from the intake source that it supplies water to the fire service and equally take water to the government house on an emergency.

Okwor said: “What has happened is that we have been managing and having the water clean, but the recent excavation, purportedly said to have been carried out by RCC is what has caused all these. You could see that when we were on top of the hill, the whole excavated area is collapsing and erosion is carrying all of them into this very axis and the effect is that the intake chamber here where we sank the spring water and take it to Iva valley area where it is exposed to air and treated with chlorine before we put it in our one million tanks is no longer working.

Throughout this rainy season we’ve been packing sands here trying with some blocks to make it appear higher, but all those efforts are not working because the damage is massive. It’s not as if there is any intention of the state government or its agencies to deny water to any part of the Enugu community but it’s an environmental problem that was not caused by us.

“We are surprised that a company like RCC if it’s them, could embark on such environmental activity without first doing an environmental impact assessment. That could have identified that we have a water scheme here and this could be the resultant effect.”

Okwor said that the solution to the problem is that the corporation would go back to the site for proper engineering analysis to ascertain what to do next.

Enugu state Governor’s Special Adviser on Water Resources, Mr Dubem Onyia Jnr said that the state government through the ministry of works has contacted RCC to know if the company did an environmental impact assessment before the excavation activity.

Onyia said the state government is however exploring other water supply alternatives to the coal city to get a temporal solution to the problem till after the rains.

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