Kaduna res­i­dents de­cry lack of por­ta­ble wa­ter

Daily Trust - - ENVIRONMENT - From Chris­tiana T. Alabi & Dick­son Adama, Kaduna

Wa­ter is one of the ba­sic re­quire­ments of man but its pro­vi­sion in Nigeria has con­tin­ued to face a lot of chal­lenges.

While ma­jor­ity of the people in the ru­ral ar­eas of Kaduna State do not have ac­cess to wa­ter from the well, some parts of the ur­ban cities do not also have pipe borne wa­ter as a lot of women and chil­dren still suf­fer to move around ev­ery morn­ing in search of wa­ter.

Musa Adamu who re­sides in Ikara Lo­cal Govern­ment Area of Kaduna State told our cor­re­spon­dent that they don’t have por­ta­ble wa­ter in the area, say­ing that they drink well wa­ter and use it for bathing, wash­ing and cook­ing, among other needs.

On whether they boil the wa­ter be­fore drink­ing, he said, “We don’t boil the wa­ter, we drink it like that, be­cause for how long shall we con­tinue to boil wa­ter and for how many people, so we just drink the wa­ter like that with the hope that it will not hurt us.”

In Karatudu, a com­mu­nity in Chikun Lo­cal Govern­ment Area, there is no pipe borne wa­ter, only the rich mem­bers of the com­mu­nity make pro­vi­sion for bore­hole in their houses while those who can­not af­ford to dig a bore­hole rely on well and wa­ter from the river.

Mrs. Han­natu Michael said that they only en­joy the wells dur­ing rainy sea­son as the wa­ter dried and can­not serve the people liv­ing in the house dur­ing dry sea­son.

He added: “Some­times, we sit by the well wait­ing for the wa­ter to come and in the process of rush­ing to be the first to fetch the lit­tle wa­ter in the well, it gets dirty and we have to wait again for the wa­ter to set­tle but in events where we can­not wait for the par­ti­cles to set­tle, we use the wa­ter like that. We also use the river wa­ter. Our chil­dren bath with it but this river some­times gets con­tam­i­nated with waste from in­dus­tries, thus, ren­der­ing the wa­ter use­less.

“I think govern­ment needs to do more in the area of wa­ter be­cause wa­ter is life, wa­ter sus­tains life. In fact people can sur­vive with­out elec­tric­ity but they can­not with­out wa­ter. So we call on govern­ment to come to our aid and make life good for us.”

Com­fort Akogu, a res­i­dent of Kakuri in Kaduna South said that they don’t have easy ac­cess to pipe borne wa­ter, adding they move around ev­ery morn­ing with buck­ets in search for.

“The prob­lem with the wa­ter is that it looks clean when fetched but some­times, the par­ti­cles will set­tle un­der the wa­ter. I won­der what’ll hap­pen if one drinks the wa­ter im­me­di­ately af­ter fetch­ing, maybe that is why ty­phoid fever is ram­pant in the area.”

Mr. Philip Olabisi, who re­side at Nas­sarawa area of Kaduna South, said that there is pipe borne wa­ter in some parts of the area while some don’t have.

“The area where I live, there is no tap wa­ter, we rely mostly on well wa­ter, those who can af­ford to buy sa­chet wa­ter for drink­ing pur­pose do while those who can­not, drink well wa­ter. I spend over N4, 000 ev­ery month on pur­chase of wa­ter, which is too much for some­body like me who is man­ag­ing,” he said.

A sit­u­a­tion as­sess­ment car­ried out in 18 com­mu­ni­ties across nine LGAs of the state by Kaduna Civil So­ci­ety Coali­tion on wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion with sup­port of the State Ac­count­abil­ity and Voice Ini­tia­tive (SAVI) in 2012 re­vealed that wa­ter treat­ment plants of the wa­ter board are not func­tional in these LGAs.

The ones at Birnin Gwari, Sam­i­naka and Ikara are not func­tion­ing while those at Kaduna, Kafan­chan and Zaria are op­er­at­ing be­low ca­pac­ity and sup­ply is not reg­u­lar. Also, most hand pump bore­holes pro­vided by the state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments have bro­ken down.

The re­port read in part: “Only six out of 100 cited in the as­sess­ment were found func­tional. The bot­tom line is that most res­i­dents and com­mu­ni­ties rely on wells and rivers for their wa­ter needs. While the wells are rel­a­tively safe, if ap­pro­pri­ately con­structed and cov­ered, but this is not al­ways the case, and the rivers are cer­tainly not safe sources of drink­ing wa­ter. As a re­sult, ill­nesses in­clud­ing di­ar­rhoea, cholera, malaria and ty­phoid among other are com­mon in ar­eas where there is safe wa­ter.”

In­creased ac­cess to safe wa­ter will help re­duce the bur­den of wa­ter borne and re­lated ill­nesses which cur­rently ac­count for 80% of all dis­eases, ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2011.

Men, women

and chil­dren

at a gen­eral pump in

Kakuri, Kaduna, wait­ing to fetch

wa­ter.

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