From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
Akwa Ibom Water Company (AKWC) has identified paucity of funds as a major factor responsible for poor service to its numerous consumers.
It also shifted the blame to the doorstep of consumers who have failed to pay their water bills as at when due.
According to the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Ernest Usoro, the company is being owed a total of N3 billion by consumers in urban and semi-urban areas of the state.
He said the amount covered between 1987-2015, adding that indebtedness for January to September 2015 alone stands at N9 million.
Usoro lamented the burden faced by the company as a result of huge indebtedness by water consumers in the cities, pointing out that if the above figures could be paid, the company would not have any excuse in changing the water supply situation in the state within a short period.
He said in spite of the high indebtedness, the management was not relenting in its effort to ensure that clean and portable water were pumped into individual houses as a way of saving the people from roaming the streets for water.
The managing director attributed the quality water supply in Uyo, the state capital and its environs to the recent rehabilitation work at Ifa Atai in Uyo Local Government, which makes it possible for the various kiosks on the roadside, supply water to city dwellers as part of social service to the people.
Usoro pointed out that the 27 headwork pumping stations across the state with a capacity of 196,000 cubic meters of water per day were not currently supplied by the company due to certain hindrances.
He also attributed the poor service to epileptic power supply as the major challenge to improve water capacity to the people, saying this has forced the company to reduce its production capacity.
Usoro said: “To be plain with you, we enjoy barely four hours of public power supply as against the expected 24 hours and we have two generating sets for our services to complement the public power, but the number of such generators ought to be five in number to match the expected production.”
The MD said if the company was to rely on the private power supply, this would translate into buying diesel to pump water every day, the cost of which will be transferred to the consumers, who may not appreciate it or be willing to pay the bills accordingly.
Aside from the poor power situation, to pump water from stations to people’s homes, the managing director cited serious damage done to the company water pipelines during road construction in urban areas of the state by the outgone administration.
On internally generated revenue as directed by the state government, the MD said in view of the above enumerated challenges, the company has generated 40 per cent of government target so far.
From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo