Some school kids in search of water at Jenta.
By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – The scarcity of water is not new in most parts of Plateau State; some residents still share available water sources with animals.
Although some efforts are being made via the State Water Board and the Plateau Rural Water and Sanitation Agency, PRUWASA to make water available, the efforts are not yielding the desired results as citizens groan due to acute scarcity.
From the urban to the rural areas, the dry season and its attendant dry water sources pose epidemic threats.
The inability of the State Water Board to make water available is causing hardship, especially for women and girls who risk their lives in the middle of the night in search of water.
As early as 3 a.m, they wake to line up at the few water wells where they take turns to fetch water. Those who can afford to buy from water vendors whose sources of water are suspects.
In any case, the quality of available water cannot be said to be hygienic, a situation that is capable of causing disease, especially among young children and other vulnerable people.
From Angwan Yashi, Tundun Wada, Jenta, Angwan Rukuba, Kabong, Yan-Trailer, Fudawa, Nabor Gwong to others, residents lament.
Mrs. Joy Upev who had spent five years at “The water problem is too much, this is my fifth year as a resident of Jenta Mangoro, we have always had water problems but this year is the worst.
“Before we used to get water from the rain (stream) but this year, the water has dried up, you can’t even get to flush the toilet. We buy a 20litre jerry can at N40 and use it to cook and take your bath. I went out on Saturday night to keep my containers in the line but by this (Sunday) afternoon, there were only two jerry cans I got.
“Please help us to tell the government that this suffering is too much, no food, no water. We are paying for everything, school fees, the government should reduce these sufferings for us.”
“I had three children, I lost one, the remaining two, one is in school but the last one is four years old, he cannot talk, he cannot walk. I am here with him all day attending to him believing God will intervene.”
Gloria Ishaku in Jenta Adamu added, “We wake up by 4 am to search for drinking water, by the time you get a 25 litres gallon of water you are already tired and will not be able to do much again. My children have not been regular in school in the last two months because of water scarcity.”
“Sometimes I only wash their faces and legs because we don’t have money to buy water from truck pushers who sell as high as between N50 to N70 depending on where your house is located. Government should help us and make water available because as they say, water is life.”
However, an aspirant for the Jos North West House of Assembly seat on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Ishaya Samuel has been using tanks to supply water to some of the residents, and a former Speaker of the State Assembly, Peter Azi has been giving water from his house to neighbours but the efforts are not enough.
Residents appealed to those with boreholes in their homes to volunteer to give out water to ease the stress.
The Public Relations Officer of the State Water Board, Mr. Nangor Ndam apologized to citizens for the hardship saying it would soon be over.
According to him, “We had the problem of electricity at the treatment plant that supplies water to them. That is the Yakubu Gowan treatment plant. The electricity issue is a nationwide issue.
“The national grid that collapsed some time ago greatly affected the treatment plant. There was no production for three weeks and it affected them seriously. Now that we have started production, the tank is even more than halfway filled so we will soon open water for them.”