By Okwe Obi
For residents of Kabusa and Dogondaga community in Lokogma, a suburb of the federal capital territory, (FCT) life has not been easy. And it is on account of acute water shortage .
Although they also complain of financial difficulty , most residents consider water scarcity facing them as their worst nightmare .
There are two roads that lead to Kabusa and Dogondaga. One passes through Efab estate while the other is passes through Sunnyvale estate. But one thing that joins the two settlements together is water scarcity.
Residents of the communities rely on Mai-ruwa, (people who sell water in trucks) to access water . For those who cannot afford it they walk miles to fetch water from a stream as early as 5am .
Talking about the stream, it is spirogyras-infected. It is undrinkable. It can only be managed for washing and bathing which somethings reacts by itching and causes skin rashes. Due to self-help, residents add a local medicine called akanwa to reduce the dirty. No matter the effectiveness of the medicine, the water still has odour.
Their situation is compounded when it rains; the stream gets dirty due to the water that flows from gutters, bathrooms and the muddy roads.
Their only option is often to wait by the side until the dirts settle and the stream looks clean.
No thanks also to the roads. They are muddy; which channels water to their only source of water.
The only factor that makes the village and villagers known is the presents of Sunnyvale and Efab estates respectively. Because they are surrounded by cashew orchard.
Even those who muster the financial strength to buy water bitterly complained that the tanks of the sellers are dirty.
Water problem is hitting these people hard at a time when cholera, according to Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), a humanitarian medical organization, has killed at least 48 persons in Borno State since the outbreak of the disease last month.
Daily sun investigations revealed that estate owners around the area do not allow the villagers to dare enter to get water. Their hopes lie on the stream.
Abdul Kaberu, a resident of Dogondaga, who have lived there for years said the situation is getting worst by the day due to the influx of people. “What we are going through is terrible. As you can see, we don’t have any source of water. Either we buy from truck pushers or we fetch from the stream. Okada riders have turned the stream to their own. They wash their bikes therein. Those who do not have toilets excrete therein.
Day in day out, the village is populated. People are trooping in in search of accommodation. We need the government to come to our aid.”he said.
Another resident, Maryam Audu said that their situation is worsen during the dry season, noting that they micro-manage water. “For now we are enjoying because at least we have sources, when we approach dry season that is when we feel the heat of water scarcity.” she said.
According to the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation set up by the World Health Organization (WHO), water scarcity or lack of safe drinking water is one of the world’s leading problems affecting more than 1.1 billion people globally, meaning that one in every six people lacks access to safe drinking water.
Also the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) defines safe drinking water as “water with microbial, chemical and physical characteristics that meets WHO guidelines or national standards on drinking water quality.”
Hydrologists generally assess water scarcity by looking at a
population-to-water equation that treats 1,700 cubic meters per person as the national threshold for meeting water requirements for agricultural and industrial production, energy, and the environment.
Availability below the threshold of 1,000 cubic meters represents a state of “water scarcity”, while anything below 500 cubic meters represents a state of “absolute scarcity”.
Despite partnering with foreign organizations who dole out millions of Naira to support water problem, Nigerians are yet to feel the importance of such laudable alliance.