By Emmanuel Ugwu
Emmanuel Ugwu writes about the sheer joy of a rural community in Abia after they took reception of a borehole spilling out potable water
It was a novel experience for the people of Nsirimo, a rural community in Umuahia South local Government of Abia State when potable water started gushing out from a motorised borehole with overhead tank. They had waited so long to drink potable water, but recently their wish turned to reality when the borehole, sunk by the federal government, was inaugurated at Umuezu Village. Their joy knew no bounds as they erupted in songs of praise.
As the Nsirimo rural dwellers rejoiced, the man representing Abia Central at the Senate, Senator Theodore Orji, who attracted the project, was on hand to share in the joy of his constituents. He presented the keys of the water facility to the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Adolphus Ugwunna and charged the community to guard the project against vandalism.
He noted that with the inauguration of the water project, the absence of potable water in Nsirimo has ended after decades of agony. He said that he had been deeply touched by the ordeal of the people, hence his decision to bring the project to the community was strategic. The former governor of Abia, who is the deputy chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, also pointed out that Nsirimo was special to him due to the huge number of supporters he has in the area.
“Nsirimo is very dear to my heart. I could have sited this project anywhere. When the need for this water project came, my mind went straight to Nsirimo and I am happy that it was sited at the appropriate place. It is a debt I owe you for voting for me and ensuring that I am a Senator today. That is what it should be and that is what leadership should be,” he said.
According to him, his joy was all the more profound that the project was sited in his constituency, adding that he has made it a point of duty to ensure that his signature constituency projects exists in all the six local governments. The federal projects Orji attracted and distributed across his senatorial district include water projects, road projects, erosion control, light (electricity) projects, as he has given out transformers to virtually all the communities in Abia Central.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, lauded Senator Orji for his role in attracting the water project to the community which is in dire need of potable water, “It might interest you to know that this project and many others like it were attracted by Senator Orji. He attracted two roads in Umuahia North L.G.A, whose construction has almost been concluded,” he stated.
The minister, who was represented by the State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mr. Ebere Simeon Oziri, took time to advise the people to own the project and guard it jealously so that it would fulfill the purpose for which it was brought to them. He said: “The people of Nsirimo should be aware that this project belongs to them and should therefore do everything to protect it. The project is expected to serve the people and not exploit them. They should set up a mini committee to manage it.”
Ogbeh appealed to the community to cooperate with government in its efforts to improve the welfare of the people, noting that “one way of doing such is by embracing every project attracted for the people as well as protecting it.”
Some stakeholders of Nsirimo, who spoke at the occasion, expressed the feelings of the people over the water project. Former Transition Committee Chairman of Umuahia South Local Government, Hon. Randy Ukanwoko and the anchor person for the project, Hon. Peter Asagwara commended Senator Orji for attracting the project which they said was sited in a village that has no access to water, thereby ameliorating the hardship and water challenges faced by the village.
Earlier in his address, the President General of Nsirimo Amaise Development Union (NAIDU), High Chief Ezeji Raymond Nwosu commended Senator Orji for the water project, which he described “true dividends of democracy to the grassroots and true essence of representation.”
According to him, “representing the people without positively affecting the lives of people is no representation hence, “Our distinguished Senator here is actually representing the good people of Abia Central well at the Senate.”