Calabar Residents Resort to ‘Mai Ruwa’ as Epileptic Water Supply Persist

In Breaking News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Gershom Bassey - Chairman, Cross River State Water Board
Gershom Bassey – Chairman, Cross River State Water Board

In 2010, the World Bank rated Cross River State as one of the leading states in the provision of portable water in Nigeria.

Calabar has also maintained an enviable status as one state capital where the taps never run dry and this has been so for close to a decade.

Little wonder the second World Bank Urban Water Reform Project worth US$200 million to support the extension of piped network for the provision of portable water in Nigeria included Calabar as well as another three towns in Cross River State.

Under a Privatization Project in 2012 the World Bank also approved a US$ 400 million National Urban Water Sector Reform Project for Lagos, Kaduna, Ogun, Enugu and Cross River State.

With all these donor assistance and private sector involvement, it was expected that Calabar will maintain that rating. But the situation in recent times is getting residents worried that the Paradise city is fast loosing that status.

Residents in popular areas like Marian Road, Ita Agbor Round about, Main Avenue etc, who spoke to crossriverwatch say they have returned to the days of buying water from vendors popularly known as “Mai Ruwa” meaning ‘water vendor’ in Hausa Language.

Orok Edem told crossriverwatch that “Even mai ruwa that use to sell a gallon of water for between N20-N30 have now increased it to between N50-N60. This is strange. Since we came into Calabar, this has not happened in a very long time. But recently, the situation will improve today and get worse again the next day”.

Another respondent, Oto Abasi said: “We don’t really know what is happening. This is very strange. Calabar is not like this at all for water. The government should let us know what is going on. Since this year started, the water situation has not been stable at all. Some time it will look like they have improved and after a while we won’t see the water again. If the people in charge are not ready to work again, they should be replaced with others so that Calabar will not lose that status as a town where our taps never dry”.

Mallam Abubakar Saidu, a water vendor told crossriverwatch that “We don’t have boreholes. We buy the water we sell. Now that water has suddenly become difficult to get in Calabar, the cost has also increased where we buy to resell that is why we have also increased the price. If the water situation stabilizes, the cost will come down immediately”.

Oloyede Akeem, who runs a fashion business along Marian road said: “We have all resort to mai ruwa now to get water.
It is getting worse by the day and we don’t even seem to know what is going on. I wish someone can come out to tell us what the problem is and when it will be resolved”.

When crossriverwatch tried to reach to the Chairman of Cross River State Water Board, Mr. Gershom Bassey for his reaction, several call to his phone were not picked. But in a response to a text message, he said: “We are working with the PPP partners on it and expect to resolve the problems soon”. The short text message also directed crossriverwatch to the commissioner for water resources for the “full picture”.

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