HomeCover StoriesEXCLUSIVE: Shakyala - Kano village, where residents play hide-and-seek with portable water

EXCLUSIVE: Shakyala – Kano village, where residents play hide-and-seek with portable water


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Residents of Shakyala village in Tsanyawa local government area of Kano state have only two sources of water: Two boreholes and a stream.

A visit to the community by Daily News 24 reveals that the two boreholes are mostly overused by thousands of people and frequently breakdown.

It was learnt that whenever the boreholes stopped working, residents have no option but to turn to the only stream in the village, which dries up during the dry season and turns to a river during the rains.

Our reporter observed that in the current harmattan season, the stream has dried up and requires frequent digging by the residents in order to scoop the water they need to use.

One of the holes dug by Shakyala residents to scoop water. Photo: Daily News 24

Also read: EXCLUSIVE: Gaya – Story of ancient Kano town without a single commercial bank

The residents explained that the two boreholes had broken down for over nine months and were fixed just recently.

But despite this, other members of the remote community still have to dig up the arid stream for them to get enough water that will serve them and their livestock.

Alhaji Isa Ibrahim Shakyala, elderly resident of the community said: “We are having a very hard time, in terms of water supply in this town. This borehole here you’re seeing is has been damaged for the past nine months.

“We had to use the water from our streams, and during the harmattan season we had to dig deep into the stream before getting the water for use”.

Malam Isa Ibrahim Shakyala

Malam Ibrahim added that the dirt in the stream water makes it very unfit for people to drink and use for bathing.

“The water we get from the stream isn’t healthy at all, but that’s how we use it to bath, to cook, drink, bath, wash and even give to our domestic pets. This is because we have no other option but to use what we have,” he said.

He explained that to fix the two boreholes, residents had to contribute money ranging between N500 to N1,000 from every house.

“Despite the fact that we have a large population in Shakyala town, we have just two boreholes, and these boreholes are been used by all the households in the town,” he said.

Residents of Shakyala fetch water from the recently fixed boreholes in the community. Photo: Daily News 24

“We plead with the government to please provide us with sufficient and healthy water in our villages,” Malam Ibrahim pleaded.

Ironically however, the stream that residents use as their alternative source of water also turns out to be the access into or out of the community.

This means that in dry seasons, people use the stream as the road to get into or out of the village, but whenever the rainy season sets in, the whole stream transforms into a massive body of water.

This patch of land turns into a big river during the rains. Photo: Daily News 24

According to Salisu Lawan, “In Shakyala town, we don’t have roads and it’s one of our major problems.

“During the rainy season we have to swim through the stream to pass, or wait for the stream to dry during harmattan before coming back to our town.

“But during the rains, we mostly have to use long alternative routes to enter or exit our community through neighboring villages,” he said.

“A few months ago, a bridge construction was done although it’s not enough but we manage to follow the bridge nonetheless”.

Salisu Lawan says lack of access road is another major problem in the village

Malam Lawan said a road construction project had been initiated in the village some years back, but the contractors have been not been able to complete the job.

“This road has been under construction for a long time, but we don’t know why it has still not been completed.

“What we know however, is that we need an access road to link us directly to our community,” he said.

Efforts to contact the local government authorities for comments have not been successful.


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