Aminu Gital, the project manager of the ongoing 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project (NUWSRP)
in the state of Bauchi, directly related the postponement in completing the project to the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Thursday, Gital told the Nigerian News Agency in Bauchi that the project was
originally scheduled to be completed in June 2020, which has now been postponed to December.
He said that the Coronavirus pandemic had affected the project, making it impossible to procure
and deliver equipment and other required complementary materials due to travel restrictions, especially overseas travel.
He clarified that employees had returned to the site and were intensifying efforts to beat the new deadline,
stating that the project would ensure a steady supply of portable drinking in the metropolis of Bauchi when completed.
Before the frusturation of the Corona virus pandemic, he
said the project had achieved an 85 percent completion point.
“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 would span a 210 km
stretch of water reticulation pipes, from the initial 100 km envisaged.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the World Bank and the state government of Bauchi
are embarking on the N20 billion project to ensure sufficient water supply for the citizens.
Meanwhile, as work on the water project continues, some residents of the Bauchi metropolis
have cried out over some health risks posed by the scrapping of tarred roads.
In a separate interview with the Nigerian News Agency, residents said that vehicles driving the scrapped roads
produced dust, which was inhaled daily by households or individuals engaged in economic activities on the roadside.
According to them, their shops and residents are covered by such colossal dust, voicing
fears that they have ingested quantum of the same, with dire consequences for 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.
Therefore, the residents called on the company managing the project to finish
work on roads in areas where the laying of pipes had been finished.