Saturday, February 24, 2024

Enugu residents bemoan high cost, scarcity of water

They said tanker drivers had increased the price of water.

• February 6, 2024

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 said tanker drivers had increased the price of water.

The price of sachet water (pure water) in the city had also spiked.

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 he bought a 500-gallon tank of water for N7,000 last year.

“But the price increased to N8,000 in January and on midday, I bought it N9,000, 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 really know,’’ he said.

On the state government water project, Mr 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 she previously filled her overhead water tank every month for N25,000, but now it costs N35,000.

Ms Ezeani, however, wished that the state government would extend the water project to Achara Layout areas.

“For now, I have not really 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 said.

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 (pure water) for my family, which has also gone up from N200 a bag to N300,’’ he said.

He said the only government presence was the open water project 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 really serious about this water issue, but funds have been part of the problems,’’ he said.

On Monday, 19 directors were sacked for not meeting their targets.

This was stated 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 individually with the N100,000 weekly targets from water consumers in the Enugu metropolis.

Mr Mbah had in 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.


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