By Ike Uchechukwu
The Cross River State Government has decried the poor electricity supply in the state stressing that it was threatening public water supply.
Speaking with newsmen in Calabar on Saturday, the Managing Director of the State Water Board Limited, Chief Victor Ekpo said they spend an average of N5 million on diesel and few other things to run the water stations and it was becoming unbearable.
His words:”We had issue of damaged transformer and wrote to PHED to replace but that has not been done and the governor, Senator Ben Ayade provided us with two new transformers but they still refused to connect us.
“We 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. Want to appeal to the federal government to appeal to them to connect the Water Board for the sect of the people of Akamkpa, Ikom and other places of the state so that we can supply water to the people.
“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.
“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.
“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 said