Water Scarcity Hits Ogbaru, Ihiala, Ekwusigo LGAs

…..as Flood Damages Boreholes, Toilets

By Ikeugonna Eleke

Over 50 hand pumping boreholes and 30 public toilet facilities have been damaged by flood in three local government areas of Anambra State.

This has caused water scarcity in the affected local government areas, as Indigenes fear that other remaining sources of water may have been contaminated.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) coordinators in three flood ravaged areas; Ihiala, Ogbaru and Ekwusigo LGAs, stated this, December 2, during a meeting of officials of United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) with stakeholders of the areas on post flood assessment.

The WASH coordinators who deployed field officers to flood affected areas for assessment of the damage caused by the flood, reported that many of the affected communities had lost their sources of drinking water due to the destruction of boreholes by the flood.

WASH coordinator for Ekwusigo Local Government Area, Mrs Queen Udolisa, in her report, noted that many boreholes drilled for the community by UNICEF had been damaged by the flood, while others had their sumo stolen.

She said, ‘In most of the communities we visited, including markets, we found out that the toilets have been swept off by flood and villagers are afraid of drinking from their regular sources of water because they fear that it is already contaminated.’

The Chairman of Ogbaru LGA, Mr Pascal Aniegbuna, further explained that some of the boreholes were not only destroyed by flood, but criminals took advantage of the relocation of indigenes to camps to steal the sumo of most of the boreholes.

‘Those are the things we suffered during the recent flooding. Criminals took advantage to plunder many homes. One of my friends had properties in his hotel stolen by criminals.

‘We are appealing to UNICEF and any other groups that can help our people not to relent. Most people came back home after the flood had receded, only to see that their houses have collapsed, and their properties washed away,’ Aniegbuna said.

Enugu Field Office WASH Specialist, Mr. Timi Kiabuku, who led UNICEF officials to the meeting said: ‘The ongoing UNICEF response to the Anambra flood emergency is with funding from United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and UNICEF’s response will focus on three sectors – Child Protection, Health and WASH.’

Also, WASH Consultant (Enugu office), Mr Andy Nwanze, charged locals to always take ownership of any UNICEF project in their localities and save them from being stolen.

‘We do not have money. What we are here to do is emergency assistance to flood affected people, so you must always protect projects in your localities so that we can channel money to other things.

‘From next week, we will start visiting all the affected communities so as to be able to confirm the reports that the field officers have given today so that we can assist those affected and also properly reintegrate them into society again.’