Many Nige­rian res­i­dents of large cities rarely en­joy potable wa­ter, as Satur­day found out.

Daily Trust

Weekly Trust - - News - Richard P. Ng­bokai & Ti­j­jani Ibrahim, (Kano), Balarabe Alka­s­sim, (Bauchi), Isa Sa’idu, (Zaria), & Chris­tiana T. Alabi, (Kaduna)

Wa­ter scarcity has been a chal­lenge in Kano metropo­lis for many years. As a re­sult, many res­i­dents de­pend to a large ex­tent on wa­ter ven­dors for their daily needs with lit­tle re­gard to the source and health im­pli­ca­tions.

Find­ings in some ar­eas within the metropo­lis re­vealed that many res­i­dents do not have ac­cess to pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply.

It was gath­ered that in Ta­rauni, Dakata, Ho­toro, Brigade and Sabon Gari ar­eas, res­i­dents spend a lot to get wa­ter. They al­lege be­ing side­lined in the pro­vi­sion of so­cial ameni­ties.

A res­i­dent of Sabuwar Dakata, Malam Shehu Ma­muda, said there had been no pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply in the area for over 20 years.

“Our ma­jor source of wa­ter sup­ply is a bore­hole pro­vided by a politi­cian from where the ven­dors fetch for on­ward sale to house­holds,” he said.

He said a mod­er­ate house­hold spends at least N200 every day to buy wa­ter while a larger fam­ily spends more.

Abba Soda, an­other res­i­dent of Dakata, said he had never seen pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply in the area.

“We have two bore­holes pro­vided by Honourable Nasir Ali Ahmed. One is used by the res­i­dents while the other is used by both res­i­dents and wa­ter ven­dors to gen­er­ate rev­enue,” he said.

At Ta­rauni, it was ob­served that though there were bore­holes, most of them were not work­ing.

Malam Ah­mad Ab­dul­lahi, a res­i­dent, said the com­mu­nity ini­tially de­pended on hand pumps for wa­ter sup­ply un­til a few months ago when some of the pumps went bad.

He said the cost of wa­ter de­pends on the lo­ca­tion and source of wa­ter from ven­dors. He said those who fetched from Un­guwa Uku along Zaria road sold at N20 per jerry can, but there were ar­eas they sold at N25.

Ab­duhalli said when­ever there was power sup­ply, wa­ter was eas­ily got from the elec­tric pow­ered bore­holes, but without power sup­ply, many buy from wa­ter ven­dors.

Sim­i­larly, Mr. Dele Sa­muel, a laun­dry man at Sabon Gari lamented that lack of pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply in the area had led to the col­lapse of many laun­dry busi­nesses.

He said for over 15 years he had been liv­ing in the area his only source of wa­ter for busi­ness and do­mes­tic use was wa­ter ven­dors. gath­ered that a jerry can of wa­ter is sold for be­tween N30 and N40 in Sobon-Gari.

Muham­mad Sani, a wa­ter ven­dor in Sabon-Gari, said they charge peo­ple liv­ing in storey build­ings dif­fer­ently be­tween N35 and N40 be­cause of the dif­fi­culty in tak­ing the wa­ter up stairs.

It was dis­cov­ered that while house­holds are strug­gling to meet their daily wa­ter needs, the wa­ter ven­dors are mak­ing brisk busi­ness.

Aliyu, a wa­ter ven­dor at Tin­shama, said the busi­ness was mov­ing fine as he makes

an av­er­age of N2, 000 daily. He said some ven­dors sell up to 10 carts per day while oth­ers sell be­tween four and seven.

Aliyu added that a 25-litre jerry can is sold at N10-N15 if it’s close to the source, while it is N20 when the place is far from the source of wa­ter.

How­ever, he ex­plained that dur­ing the month of Ra­madan, it is N20 flat be­cause of the high de­mand.

A bore­hole op­er­a­tor, Muham­mad Rabi’u Jib­rin, said there is pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply in some parts of Tin­shama, but not al­ways. He added that their turnover is sea­sonal and the dry sea­son is most prof­itable with most of them mak­ing an av­er­age of N5, 000 per day.

An­other bore­hole op­er­a­tor, Ab­dul­lahi Muham­mad who op­er­ates at Polo Club in Nas­sarawa Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, said, “We sell carts from N100-N130 de­pend­ing on the num­ber of jerry cans it con­tains.”

Muham­mad said be­tween N8, 000 and N10, 000 is re­al­ized daily when there is power sup­ply, but when a power gen­er­a­tor is used, the turnover is much less.

Short­age of wa­ter in Bauchi metropo­lis and its en­vi­rons has been on for more than two years. Res­i­dents of most parts of the metropo­lis have been bat­tling with wa­ter scarcity.

Find­ings by Daily Trust at the Bauchi State low-cost re­vealed that res­i­dents of the area also bat­tle to get wa­ter for do­mes­tic use. The res­i­den­tial area has only two func­tional bore­holes drilled by in­di­vid­u­als and an­other so­lar-pow­ered wa­ter sys­tem with a do­nated over­head tank.

Ac­cord­ing to Dal­lami Inuwa Has­san, a res­i­dent of the area, most of the houses don’t have tap wa­ter be­cause of bro­ken pipes. He said only a few houses in some streets get wa­ter on Mon­days, Wed­nes­days and Fri­days for some hours.

It was gath­ered a bucket or jerry can of wa­ter from wa­ter ven­dors costs be­tween N10 and N20.

Res­i­dents of out­skirts of Bauchi metropo­lis are the hard­est hit as most of the set­tle­ments don’t have potable wa­ter. A res­i­dent of Rafin Zurfi, David Ay­o­dele, said they don’t even have wa­ter pipes in the area.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the only wa­ter source is a bore­hole pro­vided by Se­na­tor Adamu Gumba, who rep­re­sented Bauchi South Sen­a­to­rial Dis­trict, with an over­head tank which has bro­ken down. He said even when it was work­ing any­time there was no elec­tric­ity ev­ery­thing stopped.

Ar­eas like Wuntin Dada, Tso­hon Kam­fani and other places on the out­skirts are also bat­tling with wa­ter scarcity.

How­ever, the scarcity has cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity for many in­di­vid­u­als who drilled bore­holes to make money.

When our re­porter vis­ited one of the wa­ter selling points at Yelwa, about 10 ven­dors were fetch­ing wa­ter for sale in the neigh­bour­hood.

Fur­ther find­ings from one of the work­ers re­vealed that the ven­dors buy a cart of 10 jerry cans at N60 and re­sell a can at N20 to N25 de­pend­ing on the dis­tance from the source and the ter­rain.

One of the wa­ter ven­dors, Amadu Ali, a Nige­rien, said he had been in the busi­ness for years not only in Bauchi but al­most any­where he found him­self. He said he sold an av­er­age of 10 trucks a day de­pend­ing on the de­mand.

Our re­porter while trav­el­ling to Zara, a com­mu­nity in Warji Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area, saw a crowd at a well out­side Miya who came to fetch wa­ter. Some women were seen with 25 litre Jerry cans filled with wa­ter head­ing home.

The Gen­eral Man­ager, Bauchi State Wa­ter Board, En­gi­neer Aminu Aliyu Gi­tal, said the re­cent wa­ter scarcity was due to the short­age of elec­tric­ity.

“You are aware that we ration our wa­ter sup­ply. So, the is­sue of power is the main prob­lem now. If there is no elec­tric­ity, we can­not op­er­ate as we are sup­posed to,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, there was no ma­jor up­grade of wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties in the state since 1992 and the metropo­lis had ex­panded which over­stretched the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

On the pro­posed multi-bil­lion naira World Bank-as­sisted Bauchi wa­ter ex­pan­sion project, En­gi­neer Gi­tal said the project would soon take off and end to the wa­ter scarcity.

In Zaria, scarcity of potable wa­ter has been a prob­lem for res­i­dents for many years. As such, ven­dors have field days selling wa­ter at ex­or­bi­tant rates.

A 25 litre jerry can of wa­ter sells for be­tween N25 and N40. Be­sides, res­i­dents say the wa­ter ven­dors are over­whelmed with sup­plies.

A res­i­dent told Daily Trust that peo­ple were suf­fer­ing and ap­pealed to the gov­ern­ment to cre­ate some points in dif­fer­ent parts of the city for res­i­dents to fetch wa­ter.

Res­i­dents of Kaduna have also de­cried short­age of wa­ter, say­ing it is not avail­able for the masses.

Malam Mo­hammed, res­i­dent of Hayin Malam Bello Ri­gasa New Ex­ten­sion, lamented that for over five years he had been liv­ing in the area, there had been no pipe borne wa­ter.

“Ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents there rely on wells and bore­holes. I don’t have a well, nei­ther do I have a bore­hole. I pay some­one to fetch wa­ter for me on a daily ba­sis from my neigh­bour but any­time my neigh­bor does not have wa­ter maybe due to power out­age, he trav­els about half a kilo­me­ter to fetch wa­ter for me, which is quite hec­tic,” he said.

At Sabon Gari, Tudun wada, our re­porter gath­ered that res­i­dents get pipe borne wa­ter af­ter two days in­ter­val, which they also said was giv­ing tough times.

Aliyu Suleiman also a res­i­dent of Ri­gasa, said, “The well in my house is dry, so I fetch wa­ter from a neigh­bour who has wa­ter in his. Then I buy over six jerry-cans of wa­ter daily cost­ing about N150 for drink­ing and cook­ing.”

Bore­hole at Polo Club, In­de­pen­dence Road, Kano PHO­TOS: Ti­j­jani Ibrahim

Wa­ter ven­dors, queu­ing to fetch wa­ter at Mo­gadishu lay­out in Kaduna PHO­TOS: Shehu K. Goro

Peo­ple fetch­ing wa­ter at a so­lar pow­ered bore­hole at Bauchi State Low Cost Hous­ing area (File Photo)

Peo­ple gather to fetch wa­ter at a well, out­side Miya town, Warji LGA in Bauchi

Wa­ter ven­dors fetch­ing wa­ter to sell, at Yelwa Com­mu­nity, in Bauchi

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