Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Obiano to partner FG to boost rice production irrigation

In a show of real commitment to the business of governance and extra efforts towards enhancing standard of living of citizens of the state, the Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano has disclosed that the state government is ready to collaborate with Federal Government to resuscitate the giant Omambala water pumping system located at Ifite-Ogwari in Ayamelum Council Area of the state.

The governor ascertained this during his working visit to the facility. Because of need to provide adequate water supply to the agrarian zone in order to improve food production capacity that the federal government under General Ibrahim Babangida's regime completed the project in August, 1987, which was designed to provide irrigation services to the Lower Anambra Irrigation rice fields at Omor from the nearby River.

It was then being managed by the Japanese International Corporation Agency, JICA but was abandoned for over 17years when they left.

The Governor after touring the site said the visit enabled him see things personally and was able to identify the challenges hindering full operations of the facility and how the his administration would partner with the Federal Government and other relevant programmes, in other to reactivate the pumping system.

He said his administration is interested in getting the facility up and running because through the irrigation services it will provide, all-year-round rice planting will be achieved in the area.

He acknowledged, that if the facility is restored, it will increase the rice production capacity of the state by 200000 metric tons per anum and help the state achieve its target of boosting its rice production significantly.

Gov Obiano expressed happiness that the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program(ATASP), phase one, is interested in the project and the State Team will be meeting them soon to help speed up the reactivation of the facility.

The Project Manager of the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project, Mr Eric Ejeagbucha said the project has capacity to pump water through a distance of 16 kilometers of canal, to serve 3,850 hectares of arable land for rice production.

The Program Coordinator, ATASP, Phase one, Adani-Omor Implementation Unit, Mr Romanus Egba said they have done different designs for a pumping system that will provide irrigation services to the Omor Rice Fields and money has been appropriated for the project in the 2018 budget.

The Traditional Ruler of Ifite Ogwari, Igwe Alphonsus Ofuebe in a vote of thanks, commended the Governor for showing genuine interest in bringing the facility back to life and said people of the area will be better off and prayed God to always bless and protect the governor.

Written by Kingsley Ezekwelu


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