IKOM – Some 86 communities in Cross River State have benefitted from the N12.5 billion water supply project sponsored by the state government in collaboration with the World Bank and First Bank (Nigeria) Plc.
Mr Godwin Akwagiobe, the state Water Project Engineer, stated this in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the weekend in Ikom.
Akwagiobe said the beneficiaries included 16 communities in Okpoma, Yala; 20 in Obubra, 14 in Itigidi Phase II; 12 in Obubra, 13 in Ogoja, nine in Ikom, two in Ikom Phase II, and one in Itigidi Phase I.
He said that the First Bank funded the Ikom phase I and the Itigidi Emergency Rehabilitation with N900 million, adding that water production and distribution systems for Ikom and Itigidi Phase I cost N5.4 billion.
He also said that the World Bank-sponsored Obudu and Ikom Phase II water projects cost $15.3 million (about N2.5 billion), while the Ikom Phase II gulped $23.4 million (about N3.7 billion).
He said that most of the projects were already serving residents of the affected communities, adding that the few ongoing ones would soon be completed.
Akwagiobe said that most of the benefiting communities had no potable water for several years, noting that the intervention had alleviated their suffering.
“Before now, the people were drinking unsafe water from ponds, rivers, lakes and wells,’’ he said.
He appealed to the affected communities to own, maintain and protect the various water schemes which the state government had spent so much to attract.
Some communities had already taken delivery of the completed projects included Itigidi, Ikom, Ogoja and Obudu.
Mrs Martina Odey, a civil servant in Ogoja said, “This is a wonderful project for us. For years we have stayed without water and our people fetched from bore holes and other sources.
“We thank Gov. Liyel Imoke for this gesture. This will help us a lot. Water was our main problem,’’ she said. (NAN)