The management of Cross River State Water Board has raised an alarm over the huge cost of it operations with an alternative source of electricity to ensure public water supply.
Operating without public electricity supply from the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company PHEDC, the State Water Board spends an average of N5.million daily on diesel and on a few other things.
In one month, the cost burden is N150million, the Managing Director of the State Water Board Limited, Chief Victor Ekpo said during an interaction with newsmen at the weekend in Calabar, the state capital.
According to him, the situation is threatening public water supply across the state. He disclosed that the power supply from PHEDC has been an issue of serious concern. “We had an issue of a damaged transformer and wrote to PHEDC to replace but that has not been done and the Governor Ben Ayade provided us with two new transformers but they still refused to connect us. Some agencies of the state donated a number of transformers for our station in Akamkpa and they refused to connect us.”
He made an appeal to the federal government and the Minister of State on Power to intervene and get the PHEDC to supply power in most of the state water board facilities.
Ekpo further disclosed that some agencies of the state donated a number of 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. They are suffering and dying because of water challenges. This action is frustrating for 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. In Itigidi, 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 PHEDC 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.”