Unending pain…as taps dry up petrol

Residents searching for water  in Oshodi, Lagos

Residents searching for water in Oshodi, Lagos

Minna, Lagos residents grapple with water scarcity
Nigerians from all walks of life across the country are now bracing for a life of scarcity. From forex to fuel, electricity and now water, it is mounting hardship citizens are grappling with daily.

Water is one of the most important substances on earth. All plants and animals need water to survive. If there was no water, there would be no life on earth. Apart from drinking it to survive, people have many other uses for water. Popular Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti once sang that ‘Water no get enemy.’

According to the Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, Dr. Michael Ojo, 57.7 million Nigerians do not have access to safe drinking water, while thousands of children die every year in the country from diarrhea, caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

For residents of Minna, Niger State and its environs, it is a sad reality learning to live with acute water scarcity, which has left residents who cannot afford the exorbitant price from water vendors to scoop from every unhygienic source in sight.

Water vendors in the capital city have taken the advantage of the situation to hike the price of water. A 25-litre jerry can of water, which hitherto was sold for N20, now goes for between N50 and N70, depending on the location. The Guardian observed that the only source of water available to citizens are mainly privately-owned boreholes, where water vendors buy from.

It would be recalled that the state government had earlier in the year warned that the ongoing water scarcity in the state might linger till 2017.

The state Commissioner of Water Resources and Dams Development, Alhaji Idris Abubakar Azozo, told newsmen in Minna recently that the scarcity might take a longer period due to the maintenance work going on in the water works in various parts of the state.

This development has fueled the fears of an outbreak of epidemic in the state as residents are left with little or no alternative.

The water scarcity in Minna and surrounding communities is coming on the heels of unfulfilled promises made by the incumbent All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the state, at its inception to make water available to citizens within six months in office.

However, the hardship confronting residents is further compounded by the recent deportation of water vendors said to be foreigners by the Niger State command of the Immigration Service.

Water vendors have taken the advantage of the situation to hike their price. A 25-litre jerry can of water, which hitherto was sold for N20, now goes for between N50 and N70, depending on the location

Some residents expressed doubt over the present administration’s ability in finding lasting solution to the problems of water in the state, saying that the government lacks focus and has no clear direction.

Meanwhile, residents of Surulere, Ketu, Oshodi, Mafoluku and environs in Lagos have called on the government to come to their aid as water scarcity bites harder daily. Many Lagosians wake up as early as 6:00a.m. to search for water vendors.

Residents expressed disappointment over the failure of the government to provide potable water to its citizens.
Speaking with The Guardian, John Olayeye, a resident of Sadiku said, “we only get water through bore-hole, which cannot serve everyone on the street. We buy a keg of water at the rate of N15 to N20 if there is power supply and N30 if there is no power supply. Lagos State Water Corporation was here sometime ago to lay its pipes but there is no running water.

Another resident, Mrs. Faith Lawal said: In his reaction, a member representing Oshodi Oshodi-Isolo I in the House of Representatives, Mutiu Shadimu, said “though it is not my duty to provide water for the people, but if anyone needs my help in any way, I am always available.”

On his part, Lagos State House of Assembly member, representing Oshodi-Isolo Constituency 1, Hakeem Sokunle, said “I will work with the Lagos State Water Corporation to alleviate the suffering of the people. I promise to make a move in this regard now that you have brought it to my attention.”

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