Water Scarcity Hits Calabar; people bath with sachet water

For over three months, Cross River State Water Board has not pumped water to customers, making life uncomfortable for consumers in the metropolis.

Consequently, many Calabar residents now resort to sachet water for bathing and cooking.
Daily Sun learnt that, even before the current scarcity, water pumped to houses, business premises were not treated.

Major streets affected include Ekpo Abasi, Mayne Avenue, Inyamg, Yellow Duke, Ette Agbor, Satellite Town, Ediba, 8 Miles, Calabar South, Federal Housing, Aka-Ifa, State Housing, Marian and 8 Miles.

As alternative, consumers now patronise sachet water dealers and boreholes, leading to increase in demand of sachet water in the metropolis.

One resident, Mrs Eme Offiong of Enymaba Street, said for over a year, the Water Board has not supplied water to home, and confirmed that they now resort to buying bags of sachet water.

“We are in hell around Old Calabar of Nkwa, Enyamba and Anderson Streets as we have not tasted potable water from the Water Board for over one year. Before now, we used to have uninterrupted supply.

“For my family to survive, we buy at least seven bags of sachet water a day, to cook and bathe. Each bag costs N150 just as the Mai ruwa who supply a barrow of water containing 10 gallons of 10 litres each at N500.”

A resident, Mr Richard Okon of Ekpo Abasi axis added: “We have not had water from Cross River State Water Board Limited for months running and they are still bringing bills for us to pay.

I buy at least four bags of sachet water everyday, to bathe while I buy six bags, at weekends for cooking. I can tell you that this scarcity of water has made life unbearable for Calabar residents and I am even thinking of going back to my village where we have stream.”

In his reaction, Managing Director of Cross River State Water Board Limited, Prof. Godwin Igile, said: “Yes, it is true there is no water in Calabar metropolis.

“This is because we are carrying out repairs of our facilities. Besides, they have vandalised and stolen our equipment, making it difficult for us to operate at optimum capacity.

“For a very long time now, we have not done maintenance, so, we decided to carry it out and we don’t know when it will be completed so, we don’t know when we will start pumping water for residents.”

“I took over in December 2015 and we had water all through last year. I plead with consumers to bear with us while we are trying to give them potable water.”