Geographic and Demography
Cross River State lies between latitudes 4º 28′ and 6º 55′ North and longitudes 7º 50′ and 9º 28′ East of the Greenwich meridian within the tropical rainforest belt of Nigeria. It shares boundaries with the Republic of Cameroon in the East, Benue State in the North, Ebonyi and Abia States in the West, Akwa Ibom State in the South West and the Atlantic Ocean in the South.
Cross River State lies within the Cross River Basin which has a total area of 53,855 km2 of which 44,105 km2 lie in Nigeria and 9750 km2 in Cameroon. The Cross River Basin also covers parts of Benue, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Akwa Ibom States in Nigeria. The topography of Cross River is mostly characterized by low-lying undulating terrain with several areas of extensive flood plain along the course of Cross River and its major tributaries.
There are however, high elevations at the basement areas of the Oban massif and the Obudu Plateau with the Obudu hills attaining heights of up to 1,600m.The State has a land area of 23,074 square kilometres, with an estimated population of 2.89 million (2006) and a comparatively low population density ofxz 20 persons per square kilometre.
The State capital Calabar has a population of approximately 473,000 (2006).to be populated with basic information for state.There are 18 Local Government Councils in the State operating as sub-political structures in the State each headed by an elected Chairman. The Local Government Councils are: Abi, Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Bekwara, Biase, Boki, Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Etung, Ikom, Obanliku, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Ogoja, Yakurr, and Yala.
Cross River State has a mainly agrarian economy with about 75% of its people engaged in subsistence farming. Poverty is endemic with over 70% of the population living on an income of less than US$ 1 a day. The civil service is a major employer with over 20,000 employees. The public sector has been the prime mover of all economic activities in the State despite some attempts to promote private sector investment.
The private sector is still relatively under developed and is dominated by informal sector activity.
The State has a rich stock of arable land and various mineral resources that offer investment opportunities in agriculture, forestry and eco-tourism. Tourism had been identified as holding the potential to drive other sectors of the economy.
Over the past 10 years the sector has received significant investments including the Obudu ranch resort, the TINAPA business resort and others. Agriculture and tourism development are identified as the flagships sectors to drive future economic development.
Rainfall and Runoff
Average annual rainfall ranges from 1,760 mm in the northern part of the State to 3,100mm in the southern part. The duration of the dry season varies from 3 months in the south to 5 months in the north. Only 6% of rainfall occurs in the driest three months of the year.
This has significant consequences for water resources management particularly in the northern part of the State where some rivers are non-perennial. Due to the impermeable geology of most of the State, runoff from sub-catchments is 40% – 60% of annual rainfall. Seasonal floods have created wide, deep river channels.
Surface Water Resources
Surface water resources in the State are plentiful. With high average annual rainfall of 2370mm and an average annual actual evaporation of 1,170 mm there is excess rainfall of approximately 1200 mm in the average year. This leaves a high volume of water to drain away through the ground and the river system. Within the Cross River Basin, approximately 64 billion cubic meters of water drains away annually through the ground & through the river system.
In theory, this is enough to supply the entire population of Nigeria with drinking water for a year and also irrigate 5.5 million hectares of rice for 150 days each year. However in practice, probably less than 5% of this water is presently used by human beings for drinking, irrigation, industry, commerce, farming and fishing.
The Cross River is the largest river in the State with its source in the Cameroons in the North while it empties into the sea at the coastline of the State. Along with its tributaries it remains a major source of livelihood, water supply, transportation and other economic activities for many communities in the State.
It is estimated that 72% of the water running down the Cross River emanates from the Cameroons and this has important implications for Integrated Water Resources Management between the two countries.
There are 3 main sources of groundwater in Cross River State:
–‐ The regional aquifer of the Coastal Plain Sands covering 10% of the area of the State,
–‐ The fractured Shale of the Eze- Aku and Asu River Group, (55%),
–‐ The weathered and fractured zone aquifers of the Oban and Obudu Basement complex (35%).
As the shales and basement complex rocks are essentially impermeable, about 85% of the State has poor groundwater resources, accounting for the difficulty in providing safe drinking water through ground.
There was a great difference in ease of access to potable water between the Calabar Metropolis and the rest of the State. In Calabar, 59% of the population had easy access to piped water and 76% had access to borehole water. Yet, in most rural LGAs, citizens had little or no access to either piped or borehole water.
The Scorecard showed that in 2008, 70% of people in the State sourced their water from rivers and streams while only 4.7% and 13.2% of the population used piped and borehole water respectively. Of the communities with piped water supply, 66% had supply less than 3 times a week, 16% had a supply more than 3 times a week and only 18% had a continuous supply.
Recent surveys conducted by RUWATSSA and RUDA indicate that on average access to acceptable water sources across the state is 41% with relatively good access in the Calabar Municipality, Calabar South and Bakassi. The graphic below shows the access by LGA.
Toilets: Flush-toilet and pit-latrines were commonly used in Calabar Municipality. Yet around 70% of the focus groups in the rural areas reported that they use bush/field/rivers and not latrines. It is currently estimated that overall access to sanitation facilities across the state between 35% and 40%.
Refuse Disposal: Some 54% of the groups surveyed in Calabar Municipality have access to a government refuse collection service. However, there was minimal or no refuse collection service in the rural areas of the State.
Urban Water Supply
The Cross River State Water Board Ltd (CRSWBL) currently has the capacity to produce 166,000 m3/day and mainly serves the areas of Calabar, Akamkpa and Ugep / Ediba with a total urban population of 563,000. It has a total pipe network of 538 kilometres, 25 reservoirs, and three Treatment Plants and intake works.
CRSWBL supplies its customers through some 14,000 service connections. CRSWBL is currently only utilising about 40% of its production capacity due to its inadequate distribution system and the unreliable power supply. Further infrastructure is being developed in other areas within the State, to increase production to 187,000m3/day by 2011.