BY: VITALIS UGOH, Çalabar
Cross River State water Board Limited may soon be forced to shut down following the poor electricity supply in the state which is threatening its water supply as the state government spends an average of N5 million on diesel and other logistics to run its water stations, across the state..
This was disclosed to newsmen in Calabar yesterday by the Managing Director of the State Water Board Limited, Chief Victor Ekpo.
According to him, “we had issue of damaged transformer and wrote to PHED to replace it but that has not been done and the governor, Senator Ben Ayade provided for us, two new transformers but they still refused to connect us.”
He therefore, “wish to appeal to the federal government and the Minister of State on Power to intervene for PHED to give us power in most of our facilities in the state,”.
“Some agencies of the state donated some transformers to Akamkpa and they refused to connect us too. I want to appeal to the federal government direct them to connect the Water Board for the sake of the people of Akamkpa, Ikom and other places in the state so that we can supply water to the people”
He declared “the people are suffering and dying because of water challenges. This action is frustrating the people of the state, water Board and the state government. It can lead to an outbreak of water borne diseases”.
“We are running all our outlets with AGO (diesel). In Calabar metropolis instead of 24 hours we are doing 10 hours of water supply daily. Intigidi, Okpoma, Obubra, Obudu and Ogoja outstations for now we run with generators. We do not owe in these stations except in Calabar that we owe. We have a dedicated line with PHED so that if there is any power failure we can turn on our generator at water intake but to my greatest surprise we discovered that they disconnected the water Board from the dedicated line. We are running different generators which cost us about 3,300 litres of diesel per hour. So if you are running 10 hours a day it means that you are running 33, 000 litres for the people to have access to potable water, he added”.
According to him, “so in a day, it costs the Water Board about N4 million to run water in Calabar metropolis alone and holistically we spend about N5 million a day to run water in the entire state. We buy chemicals for water treatment, diesel for all the stations and cost of general maintenance and this is quite expensive”.
Ekpo appealed to the Federal Government to intervene adding “we want the Federal Government to give us a waiver in electricity supply in the state in respect of water Board facilities so that the state will be able to improve in water supply in the entire state especially in the face of the COVID -19 pandemic”.