The incessant water scarcity in Enugu State has continued to linger for years generating different questions as to why providing clean water for the people of the state has been a hard nut to crack.
The #ClaimYourWaterRights team decided to look into the major sources of water in the state by engaging the Former Director, Enugu State Ministry of Water Resources, Engr. Fidelis Okeke in an in-depth interview to further understand why the major sources of water in the State have not been sufficient in meeting the water needs of the people of the state.

He had the following to say:

The sources of water in the state are known but it is important we know what governs this water we are talking about. First, we look at the geology, in Enugu metropolis the kind of shales dominant in the state, can contain water but they won’t be able to release this water when it is needed. That is the reason constructing bore holes in Enugu metropolis is difficult, but nature has a way of balancing things, if there is no ground water, it gives you surface water.

Previously in Enugu, the major source of water was from Ekulu works and Iva spring, overtime the discharge from the coal mine shaft made the cost of treatment high which informed the decision to have other sources which brought about Ajali and 9th mile crash program. Ajali a surface water scheme is manmade and overtime the facilities began to go bad with a reduction in the designed production capacity due to poor maintenance. There are chances of improving the recoverable volume from it by constructing a quality dam, they are likely to get more water. The 9th mile crash program had 12 borehole sunk in an area known to produce the best quality of water in Enugu state, but because of poor maintenance those 12 bore holes went bad overtime. In Oji river, we have about 8 bore holes, this source is also not properly harnessed.

Talking of the Akwuke source, we had shallow wells when the scheme was conceived, to supply water to areas around Garki, Army barracks, etc. This worked for a while but because of lack of maintenance overtime, it was taken over by erosion.

When there was need to increase supply, the federal government identified a spot up hill at Ngwo, that was meant to produce about 30,000 cubic metres, the federal government had done a lot of work but it was abandoned. A review was done in 2013 to determine the cost of completing the work, which revealed that less than 2 billion naira was needed to complete the outstanding work. Again, this review and findings are in the shelf.

There was a water scheme the federal government started in Amechi Idodo, it is abandoned now. There are a lot of potential sources to increase production, however, the problem is implementation.
The major problem we have with federal government projects is that the state do not complete them. There should be an investment plan by identifying these projects and their status and plan on what to do since the federal government is working on intervention.

We have talked about the government not putting the structures in place that can guarantee intervention by the private sector. Until we have the water sector law of the state that contains the regulation, you can hardly get a private person that will invest in the sector and be sure of his investment. If the regulation is not in place, any private individual taking up that challenge is taking a big risk.

Following this interview, it can be seen that though Enugu is on the hill, nature has blessed the State with an abundance of water for its people, it is left for them to harness these sources of water in the best way.