Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has signed into law the Abia State water Bill in addition to the Launching of the Abia State Water Sanitation and Hygiene Policy (WASH).
Speaking while performing the ceremony at government House Umuahia, Governor Ikpeazu said, the essence of the law is to provide the legal framework to guide the State actions with regard to the provision of affordable portable water to all households in the State.
The Governor noted that with the signing into law the Abia State Water Bill, citizens are no longer allowed to deficate in the open as it will give Greater impetus to the ministry of Environment and appealed to development partners to continue to support the state.
He described water as essential for the socio-economic development of the State as well as a healthy society.
Governor Ikpeazu further said that the WASH policy is well-thought out with about seven components as well as what the State stands to gain.
Presenting the Abia State Water Bill to the Governor earlier, the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, Steering Committee on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Mr Chris Ezem described the bill as another milestone development, adding that the State has continued to partner USAID E-WASH over time.
He noted that development partners are increasing in rehabilitating the Ariaria and Ubakala water schemes as well as deliver ICT equipment in the water sector, pointing out that with the signing of the water bill into law it will facilitate those projects and bring other benefits to the State.
In their remarks earlier, the acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Utilities, Mr Friday Chika and the General Manager, Abia State Water Board Mr Leo Ogbonna described the development as the beginning of good things in the State as it will reduce mortality rate as a result of water borne diseases in the State.
They thanked the Governor for his efforts in ensuring that the bill is finally signed into law and assured that they will live up to expectations.
Our Government House Correspondent Ezechukwu Adimoha reports that the Deputy Governor Sir Ude Okochukwu, the SSG Mr Chris Ezem, the Commissioner for Information Chief John Okiyi Kalu, His Finance Counterpart Dr Aham Uko , the immediate past Commissioner for Public Utilities Sir Emma Nwabuko among other government functionaries were present during the event.