Water scarcity hits Enugu, residents seek govt intervention

Residents of Enugu metropolis in Enugu State, on Monday, lamented the acute water shortage that hit the city.

The problem of water scarcity in the state capital, which has thrown many residents into hardship, is as old as the city itself. It has defied all solutions by different administrations.

The situation, it was learnt, grew worse following the breakdown of the Oji Water Scheme, which supplies water to the metropolis, coupled with vandalism of water pipes, which makes it difficult to reticulate the commodity.

Residents of New Layout, Obiagu, Ogui, New Market, GRA, New Haven and Independence Layout are most hit by the acute water shortage as some do not even have board, while those who have do not get water regularly.

Chimaraobim Ezeoka, a resident of Iva-Valley, who spoke to our correspondent, said inhabitants of the area used to get water supply twice or thrice a week before now, but for over a month now, the water board had not been supplying water to the area.

She described the scarcity of water in the state as unfortunate, stating, “The scarcity of water in Enugu is a problem for us now, because in most places in the metropolis people are running about scouting for water. Take for instance we living in Iva, we have a reservoir but we don’t have water. If you come to Iva now, everybody is stranded because of water scarcity.

“I am appealing to the government to do something about the water problem in the state, because people are dying. We are saying that we are hungry for food, but the scarcity of water has compounded our woes. Our problem now in Enugu is water.

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“We need water to survive. We buy water from tankers at the rate of N100 or N150 for 20 litres of water, while well water is N50 or N70. Water from government resources is between N20 and N50, depending on your bargaining power, but it does not serve everybody.”

For Nwaonuma Christian, the scarcity of water in the state is unbearable.

Christian stated, “Enugu is an old town that is supposed to have water everywhere, but look at everywhere you go, the government will establish estates but will not make any provision for water, which is very essential in our life. People become their own government; you will provide water for yourself or you buy water from tankers; this is not helping matters.

“They will sell it for more than what ordinary people can afford. Selling a tank 500 litres of water for N700,000 is bad and outrageous. There are lot of rivers around us and we have huge volume of water underground like at 9th Mile and some other places. Enugu should not be lacking water; it is very bad and the government should urgently do something about the current scarcity.”

For Chief Amadi John, the water scarcity is unfortunate, stressing that the current administration lacked the plan to fix the challenge in the state capital.

He said, “The plight of the people seems not to concern the present administration in the state. Look, even the centres of Enugu are not having water anymore, but I can remember when we were going to school, we drank pipe borne water and play with it, but today, people scout for water everywhere. On Sunday, people wanted to kill each other because of water; the queue is very long of people struggling to get well water; the government should look into it.

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“The worst part of it is that the water board is hoarding the water but they are supposed to supply to the people; they are now selling the water to tankers. I wonder if the government making money out of the scarcity. They now hoard and sell to tankers and the tankers don’t go to 9th Mile again to buy water from individuals that dug boreholes, but now government is selling it to them to sell to the people. So, what amenities is the government providing for the people? This government has no interest of the people at heart at all.”

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh, appealed to residents of the metropolis for understanding, saying, “This government is doing everything possible to fix the water challenges.”

(PUNCH NG)

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