Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Worried by the possibility of experiencing water borne diseases in the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State due to inadequate supply of potable water, a nongovernmental organisation (NGOs) AfriHealth, working in conjunction with Community Health and Development Advisory Trust (COHDAT), has called on the state government to honour its promise to provide clean water for communities in the area.
AfriHealth, who is the implementer of the advocacy project, and COHDAT, as sub-implementer also want the Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA), to fulfill its promise to the communities, especially Ukpe community in Ogoja Local Government Area of the state, where the NGO interfaced with the people on the essence of owning and securing such projects, whenever they are provided.
The call is coming at a period the state government through the CRS RUWATSSA has announced that it intends to spend N15 million over the next decade on the provision of clean drinking water to its communities.
Making the request, recently during the inauguration of Ukpe Community Consultative Committee (CCC), a Structure on Sustainable Citizens Participation in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Project, funded by United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), they said the committee with technical support from the project has written letters requesting the provision/repairs/completion of borehole projects to CRBDA, Sustainable Dev. Goal’s Office, CRS RUWATSSA.
They said up until now, the community was still awaiting response from the CRS RUWATSSA so they can get assistance in repairing the rig purchased by the state government.
The Chairman of the CCC, Mr. Elias Ejum who spoke on the issue, said the committee will do its best to ensure projects provided to Ukpe community are secured because the community has taken full ownership for sustainability and security of the project.
Commenting on the development, the Duty Bearer, Pastor Effiong U. Effiong said since the committee was formed in a Town Hall Meeting September last year, the committee had prepared Plan of Action,, held Advocacy meetings with Ogoja Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA), and WASH Coordinator and GM and Directors to express their strong need for the provision of good drinking water for the communities.
The Duty Bearer appealed that the community be considered as promised by the state government even though the project was coming to an end.
He said his organisation will continue to monitor, and provide technically support the committee so as to place Ukpe community as a model in the state in terms of community ownership of and sustainability of its project.