The effects of the dry season are more pronounced in northern parts of Cross River State which have reportedly occasioned dehydration and cholera amongst the people.
The rocky topography of places like Obanliku, Bekwara, Boki, Yala local government areas in northern Cross River as well as parts of Akamkpa LGA in the southern part has also contributed to poor availability of water in the state.
Many streams have reportedly dried up in these places. As a result, people are experiencing difficulty accessing water sources. The situation has compounded health issues, according to residents.
Last month in ten agrarian communities of Ekureku in Abi LGA in central Cross River, 20 persons were confirmed dead due to an outbreak of cholera. Most of the dead included elderly women and children.
The reasons adduced for the outbreak included a lack of as well as unclean sources of water.
Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Iwara Iwara confirmed that diarrhoea, cholera and dehydration were responsible and that government and international health organisations had intervened.
In another local government area of Obanliku, Imong Davies, a concerned youth leader in Becheve community said the lack of water has really affected them, too.
“The dry season has come to compound our situation. Our water sources, such as streams and falling water from the rocks have reduced. We are told that it is not just the dry season but impact of global effects of climate change that have affected the places.
“We do trek far distances to fetch water. Of much concern is our elderly ones who also have to join in the search for water.”
In the forest community of Buanchor in Boki LGA where there is the Drill Monkey Ranch, the village head, HRH Otu Douglas Owan said, “We don’t have safe water. Since 2012 when there was a massive volcanic eruption which devastated our community, our sources of water supply from rocks were affected, including streams. Now there’s only one small stream, serving 10,000 locals. You need to see how we queue to fetch drinking water from there.”
Commissioner for rural transformation and development, Effiom Okokon said at a particular local government where he went for oversight functions, he had to intervene by helping an old woman travel several kilometres on foot to fetch water from a small pond.
“I had to do that because the woman was too old to pass through such risk and stress and also for me to experience what it is to go through such a situation.”
Climate Change is a big issue which has also particularly affected the state, human and animals lives as well as the environment.
The state government has stepped in to help checkmate the increasingly debilitating effects on the people. In spite of the difficult and rocky terrain, they have sunk solar-powered boreholes in much of the Cross River North, so that the people can have access to potable water. And livestock can equally survive.
So far, the commissioner disclosed that they have sunk, at least, 25 boreholes.
“We are sinking two boreholes in each ward of the Cross River northern district, costing well over N17 million. And these are all solar-powered.
“Due to rocky topography and the dry season, we drill as deep as 600 metres before we could access water.
“The intention is to create other water sources for our people in the affected local government areas of northern Cross River State since our streams and ponds have all dried up as a result of the dry season. These boreholes which are more than 25 will supply water round the clock since we won’t depend on fuel.”
Okokon informed that his Ministry’s mandate is to turn rural communities to semi-urban towns by providing the most essential needs.
He said government intervention began with the Ipong area of Obudu, where infrastructure and other social amenities were provided to the four communities that make up Ipong.
He also said similar interventions are going on in many other LG Areas simultaneously.
News Source: Source link