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Communities seek govt’s intervention over water crisis

As the water crisis in L a g o s S t a t e continues to linger, residents of Osogbon Community Development Areas (CDAs) in Alapere, Kosofe Council, have called on the state government to urgently intervene to save them from the constant typhoid fever, cholera and deaths occasioned by the acute water shortage in the communities.

They made the call at a meeting organised by the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) under the aegis of the Our Water, Our Right Coalition, to draw the state government’s attention to the plight of the residents, who lamented the health challenges they have been facing and the huge amount of money they have been spending to get water from neighbouring communities.

They also alleged that the Lagos State Water Corporation has been sending them bills amounting to N2,000 per household, even though the corporation has not been supplying them water for a long time, adding that they had to stop paying the bills as they were not getting public water supply.

Addressing the meeting, Chief Olusola Akinsanya, explained that the plight of the communities was compounded by the difficult terrain of Kosofe area, which he said, makes it impossible to drill boreholes or even dig wells. He lamented that those who had attempted to build boreholes and wells ended up wasting their money, as such endeavours were met with huge disappointment.

“The water challenge has been very serious since 2016 and laying pipes through canals and the difficult terrain has been frustrating. We buy 20-litre keg of water from Hausa vendors at N2,000 each. We need water because water is life.

The water from our boreholes and wells is polluted and not drinkable and could not be used for cooking. This has been our experience in the last 30 to 40 years,” he lamented. Speaking, Chairman of Osogbon CDA, Chief E. O. Fadeyi, lamented that due to the perennial water shortage in the area, their properties were not being rented, as property seekers abandoned them when they learned about the water situation in the three community d e v e l o p m e n t associations, with an estimated population of over three million.

Vice Chairman of Osogbon II CDA, JayeJohnson Otubaga, wondered why the Lagos State Water Corporation was sending bills to the communities without providing water, adding that no fewer than 8 households were being billed N2,000 monthly for water not supplied.

On his part, Pastor Isaac Oketola, said: “Politicians don’t listen to us. When it is time for elections, they come to beg us in our churches and mosques to ask our members to vote for them.

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But this time it will not work unless they provide public water. “I go to Somolu daily to buy water with my car and I spend at least N1,000, because our boreholes and well water are not good for drinking, cooking or even washing clothes,” he said.

A women leader, who told The Trumpet that she and her husband had spent over N2 million to build boreholes for their hotel and residence, said the water from the boreholes was messy, adding that each household in the communities spend an average of N3,000 daily.

“We have begged the state government on several occasions, but no response. We are pleading again with the Lagos State Government to come to our rescue.

The situation has become very unbearable.

They should please help us urgently,” she added. Some youths who carried placards with the inscription: “No Water, No Election,” “Lagos State Government, Please Provide Us Water and Light,” among others, vowed to mobilise the youths of the area against voting in the 2023 general elections.

They pleaded with the representative of Lagos East Senatorial District, Tokunbo Abiru, the Lagos State Government and the House of Assembly to urgently assist them and provide safe and affordable potable water to save the communities.

The water crisis is evident as The Trumpet sighted rustic water tanks of boreholes and Hausa water vendors crisscrossing the entire communities to supply water to households with a huge stick and two kegs of water on each side of their shoulders.

The CAPPA team led by Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor and Associate Director, Aderonke Ige, said their intervention was aimed at giving the communities a voice and to draw the attention of the Lagos State Government and representatives of the communities at all levels to rise to their responsibilities and help the Kosofe people to overcome the water crisis.

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