By Africa Today
The Managing Director of the Cross River State Water Board Limited, Barr Asuquo Ekpo Ada, has identified lack of prudency in the operations by the previous administration as some of the challenges that almost crumbled water board.
Barr Ada who stated this in a chat with AFRICA TODAY in his office in Calabar, raised concerns that when the water board was funded by World Bank and African Development Bank, failed to maintain the facility.
“Water Board was aptly funded by World Bank and African Development Bank, all the facility you see here were during the time, but as at the time it was doing well, we have a project account and bulk of the chemicals and other purchases came from there. But when we exhausted those funds and the project concluded, what we needed was some form of prudency in the operations of the business of water supply, but that was lacking” he maintained.
Though Barr Ada refused to indict or squarely put the blame on anybody or administration, he lamented that the previous leaders failed to plan ahead when they were having surplus monies at its disposal.
He also argues that the concession project which brought OpTech was also a wrong decision.
“OpTech came in and made so much money, in fact for me, I believed that what they did here was just simply to make money without minding the aspect of maintenance. That precursor was what leads to what we are experiencing now”.
The Water Board Boss disclosed that the Board he came to meet was an establishment with faulty equipment, resulting from long lapses in the area of non-maintenance.
Another area the DG said his administration tackled so quickly, was the use of chemicals for the water treatment “you have to go for as high as twenty four (24) drums of chlorine to stabilized the turbid content of the water, instead of checking what has caused the turbid content to be high, you feel that the best thing to do is to put as much chemical as possible to treat the water, knowing that when you put it in excess it become unsafe for people to consume. Whereas when I came in, I discovered that the channel through which the water use to come in was rather dirty and needed to be serviced”
The hardworking DG while acknowledging that the reason why Cross Riverians have not seen water for sometime is as a result of the ongoing overall maintenance in all their facilities ranging from septic tanks, inflow and outflow channels, among others, assured all the citizens of portably and sufficient water supply soon.
He therefore call on Cross Riverians to endeavour to pay their bills as soon as water board start supplying
“Whence we start producing we will be very strict, and thorough to ensuring that as we supply and people consume they should be able to pay”
In an inspection, the Plant Manager, Engr Samy Onoyam said the water board is for the first time in ten years carrying out holistic maintenance of the entire facility starting from the treatment plant, noting that the essence is to give the people of Cross River portable water.