Calabar residents are lamenting over the current water scarcity plaguing the metropolis which has made them resort to sachet water as alternatives for bathing and cooking.
Life has been quite uncomfortable for residents given that the Cross River State Water Board has not supplied water to customers for over three months.
The 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, Daily Sun reports.
According to reports, consumers now patronise sachet water dealers and boreholes as alternatives, which has led to an increase in the demand for sachet water in the metropolis.
A resident of Enyamba Street, Calabar South, Mrs Eme Offiong laments that the Water Board has not supplied water to her home for over one year, 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 an 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,” Mrs Offiong said.
Another resident, Mr. Richard Okon of Ekpo Abasi axis said:
“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 every day 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 streams.”
Moreover, the Managing Director of the Cross River State Water Board Limited, Prof. Godwin Igile confirmed the water scarcity situation saying:
“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.”
Meanwhile, residents, traders and commuters have also complained bitterly about the awful stench emitting from the several refuse dumps in the metropolis.
Investigations reveal that countless Calabar streets and markets have been overtaken by garbage because of the failure of contractors to evacuate trashes, which experts say, pose great health risks.
At various locations and streets, including Watt market by Nelson Mandela, Goldie by Watt, Marian market by Ecobank, 8 Miles Market, Atamunu Street, Uwanse Street and Nelson Mandela, traders and residents decried the situation, saying it was unusual of a city like Calabar.
The traders say they can no longer bear the suffocating and disgusting odour from refuse dumps, which they claimed has reduced patronage as a lot of people avoid their shops in the market.