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.
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 PHED to replace but that has not been done and the State Governor, Senator 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 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 liters of diesel per hour. So if you are running 10 hours a day it means that you are running 33, 000 liters for the people to have access to potable water.”
The State Water Board MD maintained that “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.”
He solicited a waiver in electricity supply in the state in respect of water Board facilities so that the State will be able to improve water supply in the entire state especially in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic”.