Anambra State SWAN Blasts Abandoned N100m Swimming Pool
By Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka.
The Anambra State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), has expressed shock and worry over the deplorable state of the only state-owned swimming pool, which has been inhabited by dangerous reptiles and weeds.
The N100 million swimming pool was built for the 2020 police games hosted by Anambra State and since then, it has not been in use.
A visit to the swimming pool by Voice of Nigeria, indicates that the N100 million edifice is in a deplorable state and dangerous animals and criminals have made it their habitat.
Lamenting on the wastefulness of the swimming pool, the state chairman of SWAN, Anthony Orji, said the pool was built against the advice of the association.
According to him, the body complained that the site for the swimming pool is erosion prone but the state government did not listen to their wise advice.
“When they wanted to build the swimming pool, we complained about it because it is erosion prone but the then government did not care,” Orji said.
“The erosion there is also threat to the Federal and State high court and others. Instead of listening to us, they horridly built the swimming pool and the resultant effect is what we have now.”
He also stated that even when they built it against their advice, nothing was put in place to maintain the facility. According to Orji, water and reptiles have taken over the multi-million naira pool. He said it is worrisome that the swimming pool cannot be used given the state of decay.
Orji advised that instead of the State Government trying to reconstruct it, they should rather build a new one at the Awka Township Stadium.
Also speaking on the wastefulness of the swimming pool, Sports Analyst and veteran broadcaster Asika Ikemefula said the swimming pool was built on faulty foundation. He said that when the government came with the idea, they advised them against it because the place is erosion prone and they did not listen.
According to him,the money used for the construction was just wasted as nothing can be done with the swimming pool again.
“As far as I am concerned Anambra State does not have a swimming pool. The swimming pool at the Ekwueme square was a complete waste of public resources,” Ikemefula said. “The place is now housing reptiles and weeds.”
“The swimming pool is now deep into water and there is nothing that can be done to revive it. The Government should build another one at the Awka Township Stadium. The stadium has enough space to accommodate the facility.”
“I have been to Ilorin, Benin, Lagos and Asaba. The swimming pools are built within the stadium complex. Ekwueme is an event center and not sporting arena.” he added.
According to him,the swimming pool was horridly built for the police games and since after the games nothing has happened there.
“Even the just concluded Anambra state sports festival, they used private facilities for swimming. The swimming pool was a completely waste of resource,” he said.
Reacting, Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Patrick Estate, said that the government is no longer interested in the swimming pool. He said that when he assumed office, he visited the place and discovered that erosion has taken over the facility.
“There is nothing that can be done in the swimming pool again. We are not interested in the swimming pool again,” he stated.