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Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, has directed the state Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWATSSA), to connect 500 rural communities with affordable drinking water yearly.

Ayade gave the directives on Friday in Calabar while inaugurating the “Motorised Drilling Rig and Geographical Survey Equipment’’ procured for the drilling of boreholes in communities across the state.

He said that the choice of the rig was primarily to assist the agency in its desire to drill boreholes in hard-to-reach areas of the state.

According to him, the rig has the capacity to deliver affordable drinking water to the three senatorial districts of the state conveniently.

The governor, who charged the management of RUWATSSA on effective management of the equipment, urged them to always carry out geo-physical survey plan before drilling.

“I want us to work together and create a better Cross River for our people. I have given the agency a charge to use this rig and connect 500 communities in the state with water yearly.

“By the time we are done in four years, we will have no single community that has to go the stream to look for water; we must put an end to that.

“I want the DG of RUWATSSA to treat this rig like a baby. I do not want to hear that two years under the line that the rig is no longer functioning.

“I want the DG to take this rig to those communities that do not have water. With this rig; I know that we will provide quality water that will make the people healthy.

“With portable water, we can put an end to kids going out early in the morning to stream to look for water, thereby cutting their school time and reducing their capacity to absorb and store knowledge.

“We must take water to the door steps of our people and that is why we have procured these equipment for the benefit of mankind,’’ he said.

Mr Ita Ikpeme, Director General, said that the agency had been without serviceable vehicles, drilling rig and no geophysical equipment in the last 10 years.

“Today, RUWATSSA has been re-engineered and re-invented with the purchase of this brand new equipment that will help us in delivering quality drinking water to people of the state.

“I must thank the state governor for this wonderful donation. He promised to purchase the equipment for us; and now he has delivered.

“With this rig, RUWATSSA can now provide portable drinking water and adequate sanitation service.

“The geophysical equipment can go as far as 6000 feet down and the drilling machine can drill up to 150 meters in three hours,’’ he said.

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