Abuja – As the world marks the 2014 World Water Day today (Saturday), many Nigerians have renewed the call for the erection of more pumps to ensure steady supply of pipe-borne water to the citizenry.
A cross section of people in some parts of the country expressed their views in separate interviews with reporters on Saturday.
While some noted the efforts of some state governments in the provision of water, others called for the phasing out of indiscriminate drilling of boreholes and unwholesome well water.
Mr Sampson Ebine, a resident of the FCT, said many satellite towns depended solely on private boreholes and mai-ruwa (water vendors) for their domestic water use.
“The FCT above all other cities in the country is not supposed to lack water, because it is supposed to be a model city, one of the greatest in Africa.
“But you notice that only core centres like Wuse, Garki, Maitama, Asokoro, have flowing water and these are areas where the working population in Abuja cannot afford.
“Most of the other areas all have to fend for themselves either in drilling their own boreholes or depending on mai-ruwa; this is not a good image for Nigeria at all,” he said.
Similarly, some Lagos residents told NAN that the situation was no different in most parts of Lagos.
“Almost 70 per cent of Lagos residents are accessing water supply through vendors, we cannot guarantee the water quality and treatment.
“People overtime have resorted to digging their wells and even these wells are not treated at all; they drink unwholesome water and fall sick often because they have no alternative.
“In the 70s and 80s, we had pipe-borne water; why can’t we invest and bring that back for the good of the people?” Alhaji Jide Bolaji, a businessman residing in Lagos, said.
In Anambra, Mrs Ezinne Ofor, a resident of Awka, said the water situation in the state was deplorable.
“We have fine tall buildings, no water; water supply is mostly controlled by water vendors.
“So we provide light for ourselves and get our own water, what then will the government do for us?”
In Enugu, residents called on the state government and the water board to speed up work on pipe laying to provide water to residents instead of water tanks, which supplied water to major parts of the state capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that students in institutions of higher learning also lent their voices to the call for the resuscitation of pipe-borne water.
Miss Lilian Victor, a student of the Kwara State University, Malete, in Moro Local Government Area, particularly urged the state government’s intervention and collaboration in the provision of water by owners of private hostels in the school.
She stressed also that the provision of water would avert such incidents as the protest of students of Nasarawa State University, Lafia, on water and electricity, which resulted in the death of four people in 2013.
“Not only my school, but most institutions in the country lack clean water from good sources and for toilets that is a no-go area.
“From time to time you hear incidents of students falling into wells like the example of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo, incident and the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, protest.
“Our leaders need to wake up to their responsibilities,” she said.
While reacting to these calls, a top official in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, who pleaded anonymity, said the provision of water to households was the responsibility of the state governments and their water boards.
He said the Federal Government’s role was supervisory and in the realm of policy making.
He stated that the resuscitation of pipe-borne water is a long term goal because it is capital intensive.
He listed population explosion, ineffective town planning and dilapidating water structures as some of the challenges militating against the restoration of pipe-borne water in the country.
Also some water board managers from the states told NAN that these concerns were being looked into.
The General Managers of Enugu, Sokoto, Kano and Osun state water boards said their governments were investing in water schemes that would ensure increased water coverage in their states. (NAN)