By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
The efforts of the Cross River State Ministry of Water Resources to ensure residents of Calabar metropolis have uninterrupted water supply particularly during the Yuletide is being hampered by incessant destruction of water pipes and leakages.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Dr Fidelis Anukwa, told pressmen Tuesday in Calabar that apart from outright vandalization of water equipment by bad elements in the society, some water pipes have also been exposed to danger due to erosion and road constructions, resulting in leakages across the state.
He called on members of the public to report such leakages and any threat to equipment to his ministry.
“We are trying to produce water and some people are out there frustrating this effort by destroying pipes. If you destroy one pipe, you never can tell how many people are depending on that pipe for their water need. People should protect our water installations across the state. We should safeguard our facilities out there, and where there is obvious problem like leakages caused by erosion, they should get back to us.
“We know that due to the rapid development of Calabar metropolis, our water pipes are exposed to danger. There are leakages across the state, and in some cases, people break our pipes all by themselves to get water to their houses illegally, thereby getting the services free and this is not auguring well for our operation. We call on our people to report these illegal activities to us as we must join hand to salvage the situation for us to enjoy good flow of water.
“We are aware that because of erosion, some of the pipes are gone but why on earth would someone destroy the pipes and other essential facilities? We have identified some of the locations with leakages and are trying to rectify them. Water is essential to life and so people must protect its facilities. We will not fold our hands and allow them destroy our facilities,” he stated.
The Permanent Secretary further appealed to consumers to pay their water bills as the ministry was striving to build back consumers’ confidence after a long period of inactivity due to vandalization and challenges of electricity.
“We spend money to produce water and if people refuse paying their bills, how do we serve them well? We request that people pay their water bills. As we speak, there is a provision in the pipeline for consumers to use their phones in paying their bills. This is to make things easier for our people so as to avoid excuses,” he said.