ENUGU RESIDENTS DECRY RISING COST, SCARCITY OF DRINKING WATER, CALLS FOR GOVT INTERVENTION

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ENUGU RESIDENTS DECRY RISING COST, SCARCITY OF DRINKING WATER, CALLS FOR GOVT INTERVENTIONS

Some residents of the Enugu metropolis have expressed discontent over the scarcity and rising cost of drinking water in the state capital despite the promises by the state government.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) separately that tanker drivers had increased the price of drinking water in the city, likewise the price of sachet water, popularly known as pure water.

They said the impact of the government water project was yet to reach most of the areas. A resident of Meniru in the Awkunanaw area of Enugu, Simon Umeadi, said that he used to buy a 500-gallon tank of water for ₦7,000 last year.

“But the price increased to ₦8,000 in January and on midday, I bought it ₦9,000, and the water will not even last up to one week,’’ Umeadi explained.

“Honestly speaking, the rising cost of water is giving me serious concern.

“Whether the tanker drivers are just increasing the prices on their own or there is a problem somewhere I don’t know,’’ he said.

On the state government’s water project, Umeadi said he had yet to see water in the area from the government. He said if the government provided water, there would be no need for anyone to buy water, saying that initially there were signs of the government doing something but right now nothing is happening.

Grace Ezeani, a resident of Achara Layout, said that she filled her overhead water tank every month for ₦25,000 previously but now it costs ₦35,000. Ezeani, however, wished that the state government would extend the water project to Achara Layout areas.

“For now I have not seen much especially in the Achara Layout area, it will be good if they extend the project here because we are already suffering from water,’’ she added.

Raphael Orizu, a resident of Ologo in the Coal Camp area said although he did not buy drinking water from tankers, the cost of sachet water which he used with his family had gone high.

“I buy bags of sachet water, aka, pure water, for my family which has also gone up from ₦200 a bag to ₦300,’’ he stated.

He said the only government presence was the open water project which was situated in the vicinity for over five months without head taps or anything else.

Meanwhile, a senior official working with the State Water Project, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the government was eager to provide drinking water to the populace but lack of funds was hampering the work.

“The government is serious about this water issue but funds have been part of the problems,’’ he said.

NAN recalls that on Monday, January 29, 2024, 19 directors were sacked for not meeting their targets. This is contained in a letter signed by Governor Peter Mbah’s Special Assistant on Water Corporation and Waste Management, Andreas Gebauer.

According to the letter the disengagement stemmed from their inability to meet up individually with the ₦100,000 weekly targets from water consumers in Enugu metropolis.NAN also recalls that Gov. Mbah had last November told tanker owners and drivers in Enugu to look elsewhere for something to do as his administration was determined to end water scarcity in the metropolis.

About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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