- On potable water supply
BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – Palpable fears over possible epidemic in the State following reported cases of Lassa fever and cholera in neighbouring states may have activated the panic button in the Professor Ben Ayade-led Cross River State government.
Amidst the growing anxiety, Governor Ayade has given the State Water Board marching orders to urgently resume uninterrupted supply of potable water to households within the state.
The directive is coming after about six months of suffering by citizens due to myriads of technical as well as fiscal bottlenecks that have hampered effective service delivery by the Cross River Water Board.
In their desperation, most residents are now patronising unhygienic sources of untreated potable water supply because the Board seems to have ran out of ideas on how to address its numerous challenges occasioned by inadequate budgetary support and funding by the State government.
Among such sources with poor hygienic conditions are; rivers, streams, private borehole operators and local vendors, popularly called Mai-Ruwa.
However, Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Board, Mr Victor Effiom Ekpo said this official order is to make potable water available in the state and no efforts would therefore be spared in overcoming all barriers likely to hinder the successful accomplishment of the task at hand.
Ekpo, who was on an inspection tour of facilities, told management and staff of the Board that failure on their part to deliver on the mandate could attract possible consequences because the aim of having such establishment, with huge investment of public funds, would have been defeated.
He urged the Staff to develop positive attitude of getting things done rather than being pessimistic due to hiccups encountered in operations and pursuit of organizational goals.
The governor’s aide described as exploitative and unreasonable making members of the public pay for services that the Board is finding it difficult to render, adding that the Board should consider reverting to the manual system in preparing customers bills.
According to him, all the staff are expected to hit the streets on a house to house revenue drive immediately the Board restores normal operations and supply of water across the state.
Inside sources informed Forefront that among major challenges facing the Corporation are overhauling of the broken down generators meant to power the pumping machines supplying water from the great Qua River to the treatment plant before final circulation to the general public.
Our usual reliable source confirmed that given its poor budgetary allocation, the Corporation requires about N1.5 billion to put the machines and equipment back on stream for them to perform optimally.