From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, hosting the great rivers Niger and Benue, is currently hit by acute shortage of water for drinking and domestic use, posing serious health danger if urgent steps are not taken to ameliorate the situation.
Residents travel long distances in search of untreated water for both consumption and domestic use, and where available purchased at exorbitant cost from water vendors, while some have resorted to the uses of well water .
The unfortunate situation has led to indiscriminate open defecation by people at any given space, which is occasioned by lack of water in the toilets. The places of convenience are all stinking and could cause serious health problems, such as cholera, dysentery and other communicable diseases.
Some residents contacted for comments appealed to the state government to restore water immediately so as to save the people from hunger and diseases.
“We don’t know why they suddenly stopped water supply to the people, it is too important for human existence. Water is more important than food, because without water you can not prepare food.” Mallam Karim Jimoh observed in annoyance.
Another residence on Cemetery street Lokoja, Mrs Rebecca Ojo, said ” My Children now go to school late as we have to go round scavenging for water to bath and cook.”
“Water is now gold in Lokoja despite the rivers Niger and Benue God gave us free, but government refuse to let us drink and make good of it.” Ndamusa Suleiman from Adankolo lamented.
All efforts to reach the General Manager Kogi state Water Board failed, but some officials in the department who do not want their names mentioned, said the problem of water scarcity is from the state government that failed to provide money for chemicals that will be used for water treatment.
According to the officials, the revenue generated by the board is given back to government in compliance with the TSA policy.