By Auwalu Birninkudu
Bauchi Sept, 24, 2020 The Project Manager of the ongoing 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project (NUWSRP) in Bauchi state, Aminu Gital, has attributed the delay in completing the project to the outbreak COVID-19.
Gital told newsmen in Bauchi on Thursday that the project was initially expected to be completed in June 2020 which was now extended to December.
He said the Coronavirus pandemic had affected the project, thereby making procurement and delivery of equipments and other needed complementary materials impossible due to restriction on travels, especially foreign trips.
He explained that workers had returned to site and were intensifying efforts to beat the new deadline,saying when completed, the project would ensure steady supply of portable drinking in Bauchi metropolis.
He said the project had reached 85 per cent completion stage before the frusturation occassioned by the Corona virus pandemic.
“We have since completed construction of the 7 million liter capacity water resevour in Buzaye with the view to increasing water supply ,” he added.
According to him, the water project will cover a stretch of 210 km pipes water reticulation, from the initial 100 km contemplated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World bank and Bauchi state government are embarking on the project, worth N20 billion, to ensure adequate water supply to the people .
Meanwhile, some residents of Bauchi metropolis have cried out over some health hazards occasioned by the scrapping of tarred roads as work on the water project continues.
In separate interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the residents said vehicles plying the scrapped roads had been raising dust, which were being inhaled daily by households or people engaging in roadside economic activities.
According to them, such massive dusts cover their shops and residents, expressing fears that they have been inhaling quantum of same, with dire consequences on their health.
”This is rainy season and you can imagine the quantum of dust we will be inhaling during the dry season.
”Some of us have started coughing frequently and we are suspecting the dust being inhaled on daily basis.
”The delay in completion of the project is taking its toll on our health; there is need to expedite action to save our lives, otherwise there may not be anybody alive to drink the water provided after the project,” joked a resident of Fadaman Mada area of Bauchi metropolis, who wants to remain anonymous.
The residents therefore appealed to the company handling the project to complete work on roads in areas it had concluded the laying of pipes.