Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Ministry of Water Resources, Gloria Edem, says the state government has through the State Water Board Ltd pledged to extend water supply to all Ekureku Communities of Abi Local Government Area by the end of 2015. Edem said this during the commissioning of two hand pump boreholes provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Calabar branch in Anong Ekureku community.
She added that since it was the responsibility of government to provide water, the state government is determined to ensure that communities like Anong Ekureku and several others feel the greater impact of government as the provision of pipe-borne water will help scale down the incidence of water-borne diseases in most parts of the state.
While commissioning the project, Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Calabar Branch, Kalu Braham, disclosed that, the rural water project was made possible by the contributions of the entire staff of CBN, Calabar Branch alone, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility to the immediate communities where the bank operates. He expressed happiness at the ability to bring relief to the people of Anong Ekureku who had been trekking for long distances to get portable and safe drinking water, calling on the people to properly maintain the facilities at the borehole.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Programme Manager, Cross River State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency RUWATSSA, Patrick Emori, maintained that, safe drinking water and proper sanitation are inseparable and critical to public health. He stressed the need for sanitation and hygiene in driving adequate benefit and functionality of water facilities. As he commended the CBN Calabar branch for the gesture, he also recalled that, the Anong Community suffered from the outbreak of Cholera in March and April 2015, leading to the loss of about 18 lives and expressed hope that the provision of the water points would bring to an end the problem of cholera and sanitation-related diseases in the community.
An indigene of the community, Fidelis Ikpabi, expressed appreciation to CBN Calabar for the gesture and disclosed that, for decades, the community has suffered without potable drinking water, adding that, their sources of water had always been water from the fish ponds, streams and rain water, placing Anong Community as one of the Guinea Worm and Cholera endemic communities in the state.
The Women Leader of the Community, Helen Augustine Ekpaka, described the gesture as an answer to their prayers and pledged to ensure the proper use of the boreholes.
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