Abuja and provision of potable water

On March 22, 2014, the whole world erupted in unison in celebration of World Water Day at the UNU Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Because of the strategic importance of water to mankind, the event was packaged by UNU and UNIDO on behalf of UN-Water to reflect deeply on the usage of water and energy.

It is an open secret that every year, the United Nations celebrates World Water Day on March 22, a day the organization uses to focus world’s attention on fresh water, which is one of earth’s most important resources. This year’s theme is water and energy.

As a responsible government determined to give its citizens the best in all circumstances; the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) under Senator Bala Mohammed’s ministerial superintendence in its wisdom elected to key into UN’s goal of ensuring potable water for all.

Fully conscious of the ever expanding population of the FCT, which has stretched its facilities, water supply inclusive to breaking point, the administration made history with the commissioning of the multi-billion naira Phases 3 and 4 Lower Usuma Dam, Water Treatment Plants, Bwari Area Council, FCT, Abuja.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who commissioned the project, commended the FCT Minister and FCTA for their commitment to the Transformation Agenda of his administration, stressing that the commissioning of the project will help create more job opportunities.

The President specifically promised to support FCTA to complete the on-going Trunks Mains-conveyance system and storage reservoirs to the city as well as the Pipeline Distribution Network servicing Phases 2 and 3 of the city so as to fully reticulate water to the city.

Speaking at the occasion, Bala Mohammed reiterated that the realization of the project represented a major landmark in the pursuit of the Transformation Agenda of the Jonathan administration as well as the vision to build a capital city that will rank among the top 20 cities in the world.
He said that the contract was awarded in August 2005 but was stalled due to funding challenges, which was cleared under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan in keeping with his commitment to the principle that government business is a continuum as well as his aversion for abandonment of important projects.

According to the minister, the water project, which is an integral part of the Abuja Master Plan comprise of 12no. Modules of 5million-litres-per-hour capacity each, and 10no. Reservoirs of various sizes concentrically arranged around the periphery of the City’s Tanks 1 – 10, and their associated trunk mains. Other infrastructure that has been incorporated into the project scope include: the Inter- Basin Water Transfer from Gurara to Lower Usuma Dam reservoir, which augments the Lower Usuma Dam raw water supply as well as the design and construction of the City’s reticulation mains/loops.
It is equally gratifying to note that the quality of water from the plants conforms to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, in compliance with global best practices. Thus, with the test run of the completed new plants since July 2013, the supply of potable water in the FCC and satellite towns such as Gwagwalada and Bwari has significantly improved.

It is the need to augment the already completed water infrastructure in the city in order to cope with the expanding population of the city that informed FCTA’s decision to embark on the expansion of these water treatment plants since July 2005.

Consequently, contracts for the Construction of Phases 3 and 4 20 million litres per hour capacity Lower Usuma Dam Water Treatment Plants was awarded to Messrs Bi-water Nigeria Limited following the company’s success in the bidding process, which was eventually executed at a revised cost of N18.09 Billion.  It is equally noteworthy that the components in the plants include units that undertake the following processes: screening of the raw water that sort out small particles and other undesirable solids; aeration; clarification and filtration before storage in the 2nos. Clear Water Tanks of 10,000m3 capacity each.

With this development, the total quantity of treated water has been increased by 200 percent from the former 10million litres per hour to the present 30 million litres per hour.
While the project implementation is progressing at a desired pace, the FCT Administration is making concerted efforts to commence the water distribution network to Phases 2 and 3 of the City covering such districts as Gwarinpa, Kafe, Katampe, Wuye, Jabi and Jahi.
The occasion was attended by the crème de la crème of the society, including Senator representing FCT, Senator Philip Aduda, Minister of Power, Professor Chinedum Nebo, Minister of National Planning, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, Minister of State for Works and many others.

Garba wrote from Wuse Abuja

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