Many residents of Calabar are being admitted in private hospitals because of outbreak of cholera following the consumption of contaminated water sold by hawkers. Over several months, there has been acute shortage of public water supply to the city by the state water board, forcing residents to buy sachet and bottled water at astronomical costs. Those who cannot afford the packaged water, patronize hawkers who supply water at cheaper prices. Apart from water scarcity, refuse has become a menace. At the Marian, Mbukpa and Watts markets, the three major markets in the city, there are mountains of refuse, as the effuse have not been cleared in the last two weeks. Five persons were reportedly admitted in private hospitals yesterday in the Bayside and Mbukpa axis of the Calabar South LGA and Ikot Ishie in the Calabar Municipality as a result of cholera caused by contaminated water and food poisoned by flies, insects and rodents from the refuse dumps. A staff nurse at Ekpenyong Etim Clinic in Anantigha area of Calabar South LGA, Mrs Vivian Umoh said that only last week they admitted several patients who were diagnosed of food poison and cholera. The state Commissioner for Health, Inyang Asibong, denied knowledge of the outbreak, while the Managing Director of the state water board, Prof Godwin Igile, admitted that there was water scarcity in the city because they were carrying out repair works on the vandalized water pipes. “Hoodlums vandalised and stole our equipment. This has made it difficult for us to operate at optimum level. For a very long time now, we have not done maintenance, so we decided to carry it out and we don’t know when it would be completed,” he said.