Cross River state government has said it spends nothing less than N150 million monthly on diesel and few other things to power its water out stations due to the inability of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) to supply electricity to water facilities, saying the development was threatening public water supply across the state.
Managing Director of the State Water Board Limited, Chief Victor Ekpo, who made this known in a chat with some newsmen in Calabar at the weekend, appealed to the federal government to step into the matter.
“We had issues of damaged transformers and wrote to PHED to replace them but that has not been done. The governor, Senator Ben Ayade, provided us with two new transformers but PHEDC still refused to connect us. I wish to appeal to the federal government and the Minister of State for 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. We want to appeal to the federal government to convince them to connect the Water Board for the sake of the people of Akamkpa, Ikom and other places so that we can supply water to the people. They are suffering and dying because of water challenges. This action is frustrating the people of the state, the Water Board Limited 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. We run Intigidi, Okpoma, Obubra, Obudu and Ogoja outstations for now 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 said.