Residents of Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, and its environs are groaning over the acute shortage of drinking water that has hit the capital city recently.
Most residents are currently entertaining fears of an outbreak of waterborne disease as they source their drinking water from River Niger.
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“We treat raw water from River Niger with alum to drink to save us from sudden scarcity of water in our areas”, said Baruwa Abubakar, a resident of Karaworo area of Lokoja.
Daily Trust learnt the water scarcity that enveloped the city bothered on the inability of the water board to supply the adequate need of water to the residents of Lokoja recently.
The Kogi State Water Board and the management of the main water supply outlet in Lokoja, popularly known as “ibro water” refused to talk to Daily Trust when contacted, saying, they lack the power to speak over the issue.
Daily Trust learnt further that as the scarcity of water bites harder, residents who have been forced to buy drinking water from water vendors, popularly known as ‘mai ruwa’, at N400 per tin are now buying the same measure for the sum of N1,200.
According to a survey by Daily Trust, among others, areas hit by severe water scarcity in Lokoja includes, Angwan Kura, Karaworo, Madabo and phase 1 and 11 Lokogoma estates.
A resident of Angwan Kura, Fatimah Usman, lamented that they have been sourcing their water needs from the local water vendors for the past four years as the city water supply stopped in their area, adding that price hike by the vendors has worsened their condition recently.
“We used to buy a truckload of water that contains 10 jerry cans for N250. But now, the water vendors have increased to it N750”, she said.
In the same vein, residents in Madabo area of Lokoja said the area of the city has not been getting water for years, stressing, “so, they are not expecting any supply”.
Most residents pointed accusing fingers at the Kogi State Water Board for selling water at the old waterworks to tankers and pure water manufacturing companies at exorbitant rates.
A local vendor, Mallam Umar Kuje, told Daily Trust that the city’s water board and borehole owners have increased the price of water supply and they have to reflect it in their own service to their customers.
The state Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Abdulmumin Danga, could not be reached for comment as he was not picking up his calls.