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Sad Story Of A Lagos Highbrow Area With No Portable Water....by Naijassador - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Sad Story Of A Lagos Highbrow Area With No Portable Water....by Naijassador by lifenajeje(m): 7:06am On Sep 11, 2021
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Sad Story of a Lagos Highbrow Area With No Portable Water.
By Naijassador -September 11, 2021057

It was a cloudy Tuesday morning as Praise Akerele engaged in a shouting match with a roving water seller who appeared wearied from the water truck he had been pushing as early as 5am.
Akerele who was noticeably angered and running late to work shouted at the water seller identified as Bala for delaying before bringing her water in four jerry cans.

She wasn’t the only one in need of water; it’s the routine episode in the neighbourhood and residents, especially workers, try to store water before leaving for work.

“Bala, Bala, bring me water here,” echoed occupants in apartments close to Akerele’s while the water seller struggled to meet the demands with the water-filled kegs in the truck.

Akerele, who works with a telecommunications company in Victoria Island, said she relocated to her area due to traffic and stress of commuting to work on a daily basis.

She said, “I used to live at Mowe in Ogun State before I got the job and after a few months of coping with traffic and stress of going to and from work, I decided to end the misery by getting an accommodation in Lekki.”

She said that she had thought life had started fully on a good note upon joining the league of residents in highbrow Lekki without knowing that the water issue was a challenge.

She narrated her daily ordeal as our correspondent assisted in carrying some of the kegs of water to her self- contained apartment located at a popular street on Jakande Roundabout, Lekki, Lagos.

Lack amid abundance

It was a self-contained apartment painted white with a modern wardrobe occupying one side and a mattress on the other side of the room. The other door leads to a kitchen while a bathroom overlooks the kitchen. The room is neatly tiled with every item well-arranged.

As she continued to dress for work, she narrated, “I got this apartment about a year and seven months ago for N500, 000 annually. I would get half the price in some other parts of the state.”

She added that when she thought she had settled down conveniently and things were getting better for her that she discovered she was in dire straits.

Akerele took our correspondent to the kitchen where she opened the tap and muddy coloured water gushed out of it in a reckless force.

She said, “When I saw the brown water, I thought I could use antiseptic soaps and liquid. But I didn’t know that it was ineffective till I developed skin allergy. It was so bad that I had to visit the hospital and was on medications. It was after that skin issue that I started buying water to bathe. Before then, I couldn’t even cook with the water; I used to cook with sachet water popularly known as pure water. Sometimes I use table water. After I had an allergy, I started to bathe with table water.”

Akerele stated further that her expenses on water mounted until she sought alternatives from itinerant water sellers who usually fetch water for neighbours in her compound.

She added, “It was until my neighbours told me that there are people who help to fetch water in the neighbourhood that the expenses reduced a bit. The mei ruwa (water seller) that helps us to fetch water often charges extra for carrying it upstairs. One would think living in Lekki means that life is stress free but the lack of water has made life difficult.

“Even at that I still spend about N10, 000 on water every month. The water problem is a big issue on the Island, but that of Lekki is much more common. Although some houses have boreholes, many Lekki landlords don’t go the extra mile to make potable water available.”

Like Akerele, Ann Odun who lives around Chevron Drive Lekki has also been battling lack of potable water.

Odun said she relocated to the axis when she got a well paying job and tried to avoid stress as much as possible. She noted that she lately realised that there were other ways staying in Lekki could stress out the residents. One of such is the fact that she was faced with dealing with lack of potable water.

She said, “I think Lekki money stays in Lekki. There are usually a lot of bills to pay when one adds the problem of lack of potable water to the mix. It’s difficult to save. I never knew about the water issue in Lekki until I moved there. I would have thought that it occurs only in low areas and maybe some extremely poor neighbourhoods. I never knew such a thing awaited me. When I saw the coloured water when I first moved into the house, I thought it was due to a dirty tank. I didn’t know the water was from the borehole.”

According to the World Health Organisation, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water. It also states that some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely managed drinking water services.

Also an Associate Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, Kelly Ann Naylor, stated that access to water was not enough, noting that if the water wasn’t clean, it wasn’t safe to drink.

Similarly, a survey conducted by Nigeria’s Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF shows that millions of households in Nigeria do not have access to clean water sources. While the supply of clean water in Nigeria has improved recently, three in 10 people still lack access.

According to aid agencies, 60 million Nigerians, or 33 per cent of the population, do not have access to clean water.

Residents of Lekki, though live in the affluent area of Lagos State, are part of this estimated population of people who do not have access to clean water.

More residents decry cost of potable water

Odun said that she spent about N20, 000 monthly on water. She said, “When the mallams bring the water, they charge extra to carry the keg of water upstairs.’’

Another resident, Mr Charles Uduak, said people see those living in Lekki as rich Lagosians.

Uduak stated, “People see us as being rich staying in Lekki. But the stress we go through to get clean water to drink and cook is not easy. The sad thing is that despite the fact that people have complained many times, the government isn’t doing anything about it. Instead, people have developed coping mechanisms to get clean water. If I open my tap water, you’d be surprised to see the water from it. It’s really terrible, and we do nothing with the water.”

Uduak further said that the public water that was supposed to be an alternative to the water from the water board was lacking in Lekki.

He said, “The water is really bad. I think there is an issue with the topography of the place. Whenever one digs the regular borehole, it produces dirty water and many of the house owners do not want to pay for a borehole to further dig the ground. My landlord left Nigeria for overseas three years ago. We just pay tenancy money into his account and he has an agent that supervises the house. The water has been that way since we moved in. I pay for the water services to fill my tank every week. I have an extra tank outside that they fill every week. That’s the least we could do. That’s about N8, 000 every week aside from other expenses.”

Another resident, Mrs Sade Awoniyi, laughed heartily when our correspondent asked about the water situation in her house. She told our correspondent that when she recently moved into where she lives, she opened the tap which gushed out brownish water.

Awoniyi stated, “I asked my neighbours what was going on and they told me it was the situation they had been coping with before I moved in. At first, I thought it was something I could treat alone in my apartment. I tried many things to clear the water. I bought alum, water guard and other things but nothing changed.

“I tried to use the roving water seller but I am not even sure of how clean their water is. Some greenish particles come out of the kegs as they pour the water into my drum. I don’t know the source of the water. When I was tired of it all, I got connected to a water tanker firm that supplies me water.”

The Awes who occupy a five-bedroom apartment in Lekki Phase 1 said the issue of bad water was a general one on the Island because they had similar issues when they were living in Lekki

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Re: Sad Story Of A Lagos Highbrow Area With No Portable Water....by Naijassador by funshint(m): 7:17am On Sep 11, 2021
I pity people living on the Island. Magodo is still one of the best place to live in Lagos. Lekki is overrated.

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