Kano: Residents groan as water scarcity bites harder, defies solutions

Residents of Kano have continued to grapple with water scarcity, with a gallon of the commodity being sold at N200 around the City.

Efforts to address the lingering scarcity by the state government have not been successful, as residents had to trek long distances to fetch water from boreholes dug by some philanthropists.

Areas worst hit by the perennial water scarcity include Dala, Fagge, Gwale, Kano Municipal, Kumbotso, Tarauni, Nassarawa and Ungogo.

Residents of these areas mostly depend on the State Water Board, boreholes established by the government and philanthropists as well as water vendors to get water for their daily use.

Our correspondent observed that as a result of the persistent scarcity, water vendors popularly known as ‘Mai Ruwa’, have continued to exploit the situation by increasing their prices by about 200 per cent.

Some Kano residents who spoke to our correspondent lamented that water vendors are smiling to the banks while they continue to suffer for the scarcity.

The water scarcity, which is an annual phenomenon, had continued to defy all efforts towards ensuring steady and uninterrupted safe drinking water supply to the residents.

Previous administrations had made several efforts to end the scarcity, especially within the eight metropolitan local government areas. But the efforts were not successful.

Some of the identified challenges that have continued to interrupt water supply in the city include underground cable theft by vandals, epileptic, insufficient power supply and nonchalant attitude of some water consumers, among others.

Also, government had, on annual basis, been budgeting huge sums of money with the intention of addressing the lingering water crisis.

For example, the immediate past administration of former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje budgeted the sum of over N31 billion in 2018 for provision of water in the state.

Disturbed by the current water scarcity being experienced in some parts of the metropolis, the state Commissioner for Water Resources, Ali Haruna Makoda, assured that the problem would soon be over.

According to him, the government had deployed different measures to deal with the situation.

He says the state government, under the leadership of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, was working round the clock to ensure availability of water in the metropolitan local governments.

“We are working tirelessly to fix the prevailing water scarcity in the state capital and its environs, and in a couple of days, the problem will be over,” the commissioner said.

Makoda blamed the challenge on obsolete equipment, especially at the Tamburawa Water Treatment Plant which supplies water to most of Kano metropolis.

He also blamed the current high temperature being experienced in the state for the water shortage, noting that people are consuming higher volumes of water to cope with the weather condition.

“The State Government inherited the decay in the water sector from the previous administration which did not give the necessary attention to potable water supply.

“During the tenure of the last administration, only 20 per cent of the state’s water needs were supplied and was grossly inadequate.”

“But on assumption of office, our administration has been able to supply more than 60 percent of the water needs of our people,” Makoda said.

According to him, the present administration is spending over N1.2 billion monthly to improve water supply, including the purchase of diesel at a cost of N400 million, as well as N387 million on the procurement of chemicals and the settlement of electricity bills to the tune of N280 million on monthly basis.

The commissioner disclosed that the state government had entered into an agreement with the French Government to spend 63.4 million Euros for the construction of a new Water Treatment Plant.

“The State Government is committed to ensure that there is enough drinking water in Kano, which is why the Government of Abba Kabir Yusuf is doing all it can, including spending huge amounts of money, to provide adequate portable drinking water in and around the ancient city,” the commissioner added.

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