Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Wednesday inaugurated a Gravitational Tank Water Scheme at Ugba-na-Nkata community in Umuahia North Local Government to improve access to potable water in the area.

In a message to the ceremony in Umuahia, Ikpeazu said that the importance of clean and safe drinking water could not be over-emphasised.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Ude Oko-Chukwu, said that the state government was committed to improving the well being of the people of Abia.

He said that the state government would deploy necessary machinery to ensure that regional water schemes in Aba and Umuahia were functional.

Ikpeazu said that the community water project would go a long way in meeting the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the community.

He expressed delight that Abia was chosen as one of the pilot states to benefit from the USAID effective water, sanitation and hygiene (E-WASH) programme.

He assured the people of Ugba-na-Nkata  community the willingness of the present administration to fulfill its campaign promises, and urged them to protect the water facility from vandals.

In his address, Mr Ezenwa Dike, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Public Utilities and Water Resources, said that the community water scheme was designed to increase the capacity of the Umuahia Regional Water scheme.

Dike said that the water project was also designed to accommodate the new housing estates in the state capital.

“This project is designed to meet the 60/90 days timeline of the USAID E-WASH project assigned to the state,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Leo Ogbonna, the General Manager of the state Water and Sewage Corporation, said that the water project was designed to provide a lasting solution to the water and sanitation needs of the people.

Ogbonna commended the state government for its contributions toward the development of the water sector in Abia.

Responding, Chief Michael Onuoha, a representative of the community, commended the state government for initiating projects that would improve the livelihood of the people of Abia.

Onuoha described the provision of a source of clean drinking water for the community as a welcome development, adding that it would alleviate the suffering experienced in sourcing for potable water.