Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra on Thursday inaugurated 27 solar-powered boreholes in Aguata and Anambra East Local Government Areas of the State
He said at the occasion that the boreholes would provide safe drinking water to 67,500 people.
He said 2,400 pupils and their teachers would also have access to decent and hygienic toilets, hand washing and urinal facilities in 12 schools in the two local governments.
Obiano held that with an estimated population of 300,000 people, there was urgent need for more access to clean drinking water in Aguata council.
“With 15 boreholes in Aguata, we have only succeeded in providing one borehole to about 20,000 people.
“But we are drilling another 15 in Aguata which will reduce the ratio to one borehole to 10,000 people and we are going to achieve this before the year runs out’’, he said.
The governor also revealed that in partnership with UNICEF and the European Union, his administration had embarked on the construction of toilets and sanitation facilities in the state.
“We are also providing toilets in schools. We have done three. The World Bank is working toward ensuring that by 2017, defecating in the open would have become a thing of the past.
Mr Charles Nzuki, Chief of Field Office in UNICEF, said the facilities would ensure access to safe drinking water in the two council areas.
Nzuki, represented by Mr Saaondo Anom, a Wash Specialist in UNICEF, commended Obiano for his sensitivity to the needs of the people by paying the counterpart fund at the appropriate time.
“Anambra is the only state in the whole of South-East and South-South that is enjoying this largesse from EU/UNICEF because they paid their counterpart fund.’’
He said Anambra was in line to benefit from the second phase of the project in which 30 solar-powered boreholes and 12 Integrated Toilets for schools were to be awarded and concluded in March.
Chief Obi Nwankwo, Commissioner for Public Utilities, said the programme was a co-funded initiative in which the European Union and UNICEF funded projects up to 70 per cent.
He said that Anambra government provided the balance of 30 per cent.