The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
SPECIAL REPORT: Water Scarcity Lashes Dozens in Kwara as Govrt says Fixing the issue, not its duties
"The issue is not for the government to resolve, the members of such a community should get a plumber to rectify the issue...
People who reside in the Agbooba area of Ilorin Kwara State have expressed displeasure with the water issue in their location. They expressed that the taps in their area bring out dirty water with an offensive odour. But the Kwara State Government has said it is not its duty to help fix the taps.
Sanitation, which is defined as conditions relating to public health, especially the provision of clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal, is very important to be achieved in society. But this cannot be achieved in the absence of quality water.
Good and clean water is crucial to achieving good sanitation in societies. Hence this led the members to call out to the public on the challenges that they face as this hinders them from achieving good sanitation in their area.
According to one of the residents of the area, fondly called Raliat Mother, “the present harmattan period has led to the drying off of the majority of wells in the area, and the taps around usually bring out dirty water with bad odour.”
The woman said they always wait on companies around which have boreholes before they get full access to water. “We always wait for companies around which have boreholes before we can access water.” Adding that “if these companies decide to switch off the boreholes, they don’t have a choice but to go without water.” This usually went on for days.
A teenager, Aisha, also lamented over the inadequate water supply within the area while calling on the authority to help rehabilitate their broken pipes.
“We have got a water issue here. And the water which usually comes out from the taps in our area was nothing but gutter (muddy) water. The authorities should help us check the licking (leaking) or broken pipes since they pass through gutters,” she stated. “the issue frustrates us as we could not get adequate water to keep our homes.”
“I was happy at first when I heard that the tap water was running one morning but was disappointed on getting there, sighting black particles that came out of the tap with an offensive odour,” Oluwakemi, another victim of the scary water scarcity lamented. “this is not supposed to be as water is very important and that nothing can be done without water,” she added.
However, when PIJAlance Research and Investigations Team contacted a member of staff at the Kwara State Water Cooperation, Alabi Olayinka, water dispensation is not the duty of the Kwara State Government but the responsibility of the people of the community, the staffer had said. In his words, residents should find a way to fix the leakage.
“The issue is not for the government to resolve, the members of such a community should get a plumber to rectify the issue, it is as a result of leaking or broken pipes, which passed through the gutter, the liquid in the gutter mixed with the water due to the pipe leakage or breakage, the water which comes from the cooperation is of good quality.”
The Public Relations Officer of Kwara State Water Corporation, Mr Segun Oke referred the matter to the Corporation’s Station Officer for he was contacted for the area.
He (the station Officer) advised that ‘the community should arrange a day at which a check can be carried out on the pipes leading to the area for rectifications to take place.
The Public Relations Officer said the corporation’s doors are open for consumers’ complaints, assuring the utility is eager to solve consumers’ problems.
As of the time of filing this report, Kwara State Government has yet to make any official statement regarding this.
Some of the residents as well have said they drink the water as they don’t have anything else to drink at that point.
If this continues, PIJAlance is of the view residents of the community might develop water-related diseases that may unreservedly hamper the trajectory of the community.
Meanwhile, when KYAD—a youth association group lampooned the Kwara State Government for embezzling the NG-CARES Fund meant to cater for the people of Kwara and the youths, the State Government issued a long piece detailing how the fund was spent.
Among the mentioned detail was that a part of the fund was diverted to Kwara State Community and Social Development Agency purse to ensure they take care of communities in Kwara. In the piece, State Government had said 35 micro-projects were done in 9 local governments. Also added that these projects were in the area of health, water and sanitation.
In the same vein, Kwara State Government also recently got a World Bank fund expected to be used for upgrading primary healthcare in communities in the area. Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Nusirat Elelu had said about 193 wards will be taken care of as far as the fund is concerned.
It becomes a thing of questioning and baffling if out of the communities expected to be affected by both funds, Agbooda Community is not part and this is why they are experiencing water inadequacy. Or maybe Government didn’t see it as their responsibility truly, while just collecting the fund, diverting it to other things necessary or unnecessary, maybe, for the state.
Worthy of note, it is not only in Kwara State community dwellers are experiencing water scarcity while their state government are doing nothing about it.
In Gombe State, our Research and Investigations Team discovered that resident of the some community have no access to adequate water supply.
In a video obtained some draw their water supply from a muddy source which its content is in similitude of an erosional liquid, gray and completely dirty.