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Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has signed into Law, the Abia State Water Bill 2021 which was recently passed by the State House of Assembly.
Ikpeazu also launched the Abia State Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Policy (WASH).
This is even as the Governor has declared a state of emergency on the WASH sector in the State.
Speaking at the event at Government House, Umuahia yesterday, Ikpeazu said the essence of the law was to provide the legal framework to guide the State actions with regard to the provision of potable water to all households in the State.
He said the law makes it mandatory for the government to do the needful to give water to the people, adding that it also spells out the responsibilities of the citizenry.
He disclosed that with the new law and the declaration of the State of Emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector, people are no longer allowed to defecate in the open as it will give greater impetus to the Ministry of Environment to enforce the new regulations.
He appealed to development partners to continue to rise to the support of the State.
Presenting the Bill, Secretary to Abia State government and Chairman, Steering Committee on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Chris Ezem described the signing of the Bill into Law as a milestone.
He disclosed that the State has continued to partner with USAID E-WASH over time, adding that, the partnerships are increasing with new projects such as rehabilitating the Ariaria and Ubakala Water Schemes as well as deliver ICT equipment in the water sector.
The event was witnessed by the Deputy Governor, Ude Oko Chukwu, and some members of the State Executive Council, including Permanent Secretaries and other top government officials.
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