By Sheidu Habib, Olatunde Dare, Opemipo Adebanjo and Adeyinka Adeleke
As citizens, we place immense trust in our leaders to deliver on their promises and work diligently to improve our communities. However, when those promises remain unfulfilled, it is not only a betrayal of trust but also a missed opportunity to uplift the lives of countless individuals who eagerly await positive change. In the case of the Onitsha and Otuocha water schemes, the clock has ticked for 15 long months, and it is high time that Professor Soludo, the once-promising leader, fulfils his commitment to these vital projects.
Water is a resource that should be accessible to all, regardless of one’s social or economic standing. In Anambra, the completion of the Onitsha Water Scheme and the Otuocha Water Scheme is long overdue. Charles Soludo, in his manifesto document, promised to finish these crucial projects within 12 months. However, it has been over 15 months, and not a single step has been taken towards their completion. It is imperative for Governor Soludo to keep his promise and ensure that the people of Onitsha and Anambra East Local Government Area have access to clean, safe water.
The Onitsha Water Scheme was initiated to provide clean and safe water to over 1.4 million people, while the Otuocha Water Scheme aimed to benefit one million residents. These schemes were meant to alleviate the suffering of countless individuals who have been deprived of this basic necessity for far too long. Yet, despite the dire need for clean water in these areas, the projects remain stagnant, and the people continue to suffer.
Governor Soludo’s recent tour of the abandoned water projects in Onitsha and Otuocha brought to light the state of neglect and decay that these schemes have fallen into. The Greater Onitsha Water Scheme, Nkisi, and Water Board Government House in GRA Onitsha are all haunting reminders of unfulfilled promises. It is disheartening to witness the potential of these facilities go to waste while the people of Anambra yearn for a steady supply of clean water.
The tour served as an opportunity for Governor Soludo to witness firsthand the urgent need for action. Encroachments on public water facility land in Onitsha were also addressed during the visit, highlighting the importance of protecting these vital resources from unauthorised occupation. However, these efforts will remain futile if concrete steps are not taken to complete the water schemes themselves.
Access to clean and safe water is not a privilege; it is a right that every citizen deserves. Without it, individuals are exposed to numerous health risks, and communities suffer from reduced productivity and economic growth. The lack of progress on the Onitsha and Otuocha Water Schemes is hindering the development of Anambra and denying its residents a basic human necessity.
As concerned citizens, we have taken action by starting a petition on change.org, which has garnered the support of 1,743 signatures and counting. This overwhelming response demonstrates the shared concern for the completion of these water schemes. We implore Governor Soludo to listen to the voices of the people, honour his promise, and prioritise the well-being of the citizens he serves.
Governor Soludo has the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of millions of people in Anambra. By completing the Onitsha and Otuocha Water Schemes, he can fulfil his commitment to the people who placed their trust in him. We urge him to take immediate action, allocate the necessary resources, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to expedite the completion of these projects.
The time for promises and rhetoric has passed. It is time for action.
The completion of the Onitsha and Otuocha Water Schemes is not just a matter of fulfilling a political promise; it is a matter of human dignity and the well-being of an entire population. Governor Soludo, the people of Anambra are waiting for you to turn your words into deeds and bring clean, safe water to their homes, their communities, and their lives. Let us not allow empty promises to dampen the hopes of a better future for Anambra. The time for change is now.
We urge all citizens to sign our petition to hold Governor Soludo accountable for his promise and to demand the immediate completion of the Onitsha and Otuocha Water Schemes. Let us come together and demand that Governor Soludo keeps his promise and completes the Onitsha and Otuocha Water Schemes. Sign the petition today and make your voice heard.
Sheidu Habib can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @sheiduhabib_