US, Ebonyi State sign clean water expansion agreement
By Simon Ateba/Lagos
The United States Agency for International Development, USAID, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Ebonyi State Government to make clean water accessible to more people, the United States Embassy said in a statement on Moday.
“The agreement cements an ongoing working relationship to strengthen the institutional, legal and regulatory framework of the Ebonyi State water system so that households have increased access to potable water,” the Mission said.
The statement said at the moment, activities underway include establishing a reliable customer database to improve billing and collection efficiency, strengthening the human resource management skills through targeted trainings and developing a tariff policy for cost recovery.
The MoU was signed on Monday by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Martin Elechi, and the USAID Mission Director, Michael T. Harvey.
Harvey was quoted as acknowledging Ebonyi state’s significant investment to expand clean water production and connect its population to an affordable water supply.
The state had financed the construction of two new water treatment plants and a 52-kilometre trunk water main that connects one of the new water treatment plants to the state capital, Abakaliki.
Harvey said that USAID will work with the Ebonyi State Water Corporation to help it achieve financial independence and, in the end, provide more, better quality water on a reliable basis.
“This partnership is critical because it is about sustainability. It’s about strong political will and a commitment to reform. USAID will enable government officials to move the state towards a brighter future,” he said.
USAID’s urban water reform activity — Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) — is a water policy reform activity at the state level that focuses on sustainable urban water supply.