Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has said sustainability plans must be included in the design of projects to ensure that such projects stand the test of time.
Speaking when he played host to a delegation from the European Union and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning led by Mr Albert Achten in Asaba, the governor decried a situation where basic infrastructure provided by the government are neglected because, sustainable plans were not put in place, disclosing that with the tough economic situation of the country, it was important for facilities to be maintained and protected by the users.
While assuring that his administration will partner with individuals, corporate organisations and governments that are committed to the development of the state, Governor Okowa lauded the European Union for choosing Delta State as one of the beneficiaries of its multi-million naira water and sanitation scheme.
“I am glad that you are including the water consumers association in the execution of your water scheme,” the governor said, stating, “this will create awareness and sustainability at the rural areas and also help to protect the scheme, maintain and sustain it, and also, enable the consumers to take ownership of the scheme rather than think that government must provide infrastructures, maintain and sustain them.”
He added, “it is important that we consider sustainability of projects before providing infrastructures so that they can last and achieve the desired objectives, and we want to reassure you (European Union) that we will partner with the private sector and other agencies in the provision of water and clean environment in our state as this will help reduce health challenges of our people.”
Governor Okowa disclosed that because of the importance attached to the European Union sponsored projects, his administration has paid the sum of N300 million as counterpart fund to enable Deltans be beneficiaries of the projects, assuring that in the next couple of weeks, another N104 million would be paid to complete the payment which was the condition laid down for the projects to be executed.
Earlier, Mr. Achten commended Okowa’s administration for being among the few states in the country to pay the counterpart fund, stating that Delta State government could increase the counterpart fund as the state would get 70 per cent of money it contributes.
He said the money was earmarked for water and sanitation purposes and there were set plans for the programmes to be sustained.