By Mercy Obojeghren
The Delta government says it is working on plans to access a 20 million dollars grant under the World Bank Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) programme.
Mr Samuel Mariette, the state’s Commissioner for Water Resources, said this when a team of officials from the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources paid a courtesy visit on the state Governor-elect, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, on Thursday in Asaba.
Mariere said that the SURWASH programme was geared toward providing the people with portable drinking water as well as access to improved sanitation services.
Mariere said that the programme was a six-year programme, which had just commenced in the state.
”Recently, the sum of one million dollars was released to the state for the initial advance which we have already started putting into use.
”Although, we just got the money last week, but we have been able to award the first sets of contracts.
”We succeeded in awarding the Asaba/Okpanam/Ibusa Urban Water Supply project because it is actually not right that Asaba, the state capital does not have access to clean water.
“Every household that drinks that water, will have access to 75 dollars and this is a good result for us as a state,” he said.
He also said that the state intended to go into Public Private Partnership (PPP) where the contractor would run the project for one year.
Mariere also said that aside the Asaba/Okpanam/Ibusa water supply project, the state has other rural water projects to be implemented under the SURWASH programme.
On his part, the Task Team Leader from World Bank, Mr Garard Soppe, said that the delegation was in the state to discuss way forward toward the first 100 days in office of the governor-elect.
“We are in Delta because the sate is ahead of the six other states where SURWASH programme is being implemented in the country.
”And we also wished to discuss way forward to your first 100 days in office,” he added.
Responding, Oborevwori said that his administration would partner with the World Bank in its Small, Medium and long term development programmes.
Oborevwori told the delegation that he had inaugurated a transition committee to midwife the smooth take off of his administration in the state.
He said that the committee would among other things come up with Small, Medium and long term development plans for the state.
Oborevwori while commending the team, sai that one of the priorities of his administration was to partner with the World Bank.
”My meeting with you people is a good start and if this project is what we can achieve in my first 100 days in office, we will support it.
”Our present Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa has done well and I will do more,” he said.
He assured that the visit would attract more development to the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was being implemented in Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, and Plateau states.