Last week, the Katsina State House of Assembly summoned the Commissioner for Water Resources, Salisu Gambo Dandume, to appear before it today as many residents rely on water vendors for their daily needs.
Lack of pipe-borne water in the Katsina metropolis and environs is believed to be due to the breakdown of water pumping machines at Ajiwa Water Works.
A resident, Malam Yusuf Ahmed of Layout Kofar Kaura in the city, said water vendors are exploiting the situation.
“Just imagine a truck with a dozen 25 litre gallons that we used to buy for N250 is now N500. That is if you are lucky to see the vendor. They are hot commodities now”.
The state water board has been distributing water, using tankers, to the metropolis.
The Managing Director of the board, Babangida Mohammed, said 13 trucks were used daily to supply water twice in the town.
The commissioner said yesterday that water scarcity would soon be over as “government has procured new pumping machines and will, by next tomorrow (Tuesday) complete their installation”.
In Kano State, areas like Gandu, Dakata, Yan Kaba and Zango, lack water. A resident of Gandu lamented that they had not seen tap water for almost a year. One of them, Mukhtar Isah, said: “Many of our houses have dug wells and that has been what we have been using for our water supply”.
Residents of Sabon Gari said for over two years, the authorities had been trying to fix the water supply in the area. Tadeola Benson said the area had been in limbo due to lack of tap water for years.
In Gombe State, water scarcity is biting hard in Gombe metropolis and its suburbs, including few areas connected to the state regional water scheme, forcing residents to rely on commercial boreholes at exorbitant prices. The most affected areas are Tudun Wada, Bolari, Pantami, Herwagana, Kumbiya-Kumbiya, Jekadafari and Malam Inna.
Highbrow areas like GRA, New GRA, Federal Low Cost, Buba Shongo, Shongo Housing Estate, Orji Estate and Abuja Quarters are also suffering the water scarcity as residents, mostly wealthy people and politicians, rely on commercial water tankers.
“The state government spends N994 million per annum to treat and discharge water to Gombe metropolis, but majority of the populace are not paying their water bills,” a source said.
In Yobe State, residents of Damaturu and its environs, said the recent collapse of the national grid had caused water scarcity as most of the boreholes, replied upon for water, could not function
But the General Manager of the state water corporation, Ahmed Usman, said: “Our boreholes are all working, the government is supporting us, our files get express approval from the governor. Monthly, we use 50,640 litres of diesel for our 82 boreholes and enhance water supply to our consumers in Damaturu”.
In Kogi State, many rural communities are still having challenges in accessing potable water.
Residents of Lokoja and its environs faced acute water scarcity sometimes in March and April this year due to shutdown of the Greater Lokoja Water Works caused by mechanical issues.
However, reports that the issues have been resolved and water supply has since been restored to the public.
In Bayelsa State, most of the sources of drinking water are polluted, denying residents access to potable water as they depend on boreholes and water vendors.
Residents in Yenagoa are pleading with the state government to invest in water project.
In Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital and many rural areas in the state lack water. Areas worst hit are Ita – Eko, Sapon, Agbeloba, Ojere, Qarry Road, Isabo, Amolaso and Isale Igbein.
Residents of Amolaso, Abeokuta South Local Government, rely on the stream in the area which is a stone’s throw to the Government House, Isale-Igehin, for washing and bathing.
A resident of Abeokuta, Segun Adesanya, said he spent a minimum of N3,000 on 2,500 litres of water in four weeks; while a student of Mashood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Wale David, said: “We had hoped that the rain would bring respite, but this has not happened.”
But an expert in Water Engineering, Wole Adekoya, blamed water scarcity on population explosion, saying “It is everybody’s responsibility to provide water. Government and citizens have roles to play. It’s common knowledge that there is water scarcity in many areas, especially in Ogun State. And unfortunately, the little water that is available is being shared by the large population. So, population growth has contributed to the water scarcity”.
In Rivers State, our correspondent reports that there is no functional public tap water system in Port Harcourt, Obio Akpor, Oyigbo, Eleme, Etche and other parts of the state, making residents to rely on boreholes and water vendors.
Rural dwellers, who are the worst hit, rely on streams and creeks to meet their daily water needs.
Water vendors in the state make brisk business as they move from house to house to supply water to those in dire need.
This was despite the last year’s inauguration of a water corporation committee by the state government with a charge to ensure sufficient water in all the nooks and crannies of the state.