HomeCover StoriesHow water scarcity turns Ramadan into nightmare for Kano residents

How water scarcity turns Ramadan into nightmare for Kano residents

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Water is as important as life itself; one can’t survive without it. As important as it is, getting it has become a difficult task and inaccessible for most urban and rural dwellers across Kano state.

According to research conducted by the United Nations, water scarcity is a global phenomenon that is affecting almost all of the world.

The report identified that 1in 4 people in the world lacks access to safe drinking water, and 70% of sub-Saharan Africa lacks a safe water source.

Kano State, with a population of over 15 million people, has been suffering from lack of adequate, safe, and hygienic water supply for their activities for more than two decades.

Experts believe that the scarcity is a result of increased consumption, rapid development, and climate change.

Children queueing for water at a neighbourhood in Kano city. Photo: Daily News.

Although numerous reports, research, and investigations have been conducted on the incessant scarcity of water supply in Kano and the major ways to address and tackle the problems once and for all, none of the recommendations have been fully utilized by the authorities concerned.

It is believed that the Kano State Water Board lacks the adequate equipment and state-of-the-art facilities to operate most of the state’s water plants.

Also read: Water Day: Plumber allegedly steals 3 overhead tanks in Abuja

The demand for water is increasing in Kano due to climate change, prompting widespread drilling of boreholes, which threatens the environment.

Also the persistent collapse of electricity grids also hampers the operations of water plants especially during the dry season, when residents fast in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Although both the present and previous administrations in the state have given significant attention and money to the sector, the efforts do not seem to be yielding any results as the city dwellers rely heavily on boreholes and cart pushers for water supply.

It was learnt that residents in the rural areas depend largely on streams.

Despite the state of emergency declared on water by the new administration of Governor Abba Yusuf, water still remains a nightmare in Kano as one of the water plants is under maintenance and others don’t have the capacity to replace the supply of the one under maintenance.

A water vendor on the streets of Kano city. Photo: Daily News 24.

This situation, along with many others, gave rise to the current scarcity the residents are facing in the state.

This scarcity of water gives cart pushers (water vendors) a field day to charge outrageous fees to the residents of the state.

In interviews with Daily News 24, some of the residents lamented the suffering they’re going through due to the shortages of water supply in the city.

Aminu Bala Ubangida, a resident of Kawo Kudu, has described the current scarcity of water in Kano as unfortunate.

“The government should take the appropriate measures to mitigate the situation. The last time we saw water running from our tap was in 2011, and the price of water vendors is going up from N70 to N120 now for a 25-litre jerrycan. Things are difficult,” he lamented.

This resident describes the water scarcity as unfortunate.

Another resident of Kawo Kudu, Anas Isa, also described the situation as worrying.

“We’re facing a serious water shortage. This issue of water scarcity is not new, as we experience it almost every year. Immediately after the rainy season is over, our water problem begins until another season of rain.”

He called on the government to ensure steady supply of electricity across the state, as it would reduce the problem to a minimal level.

DailyNews24 also spoke to some of the water vendors.

Musa Lawan Ibrahim, a young water vendor who resides in Kauyen Alu, described the recent hike in the price of water as a result of the high cost of diesel and the removal of fuel subsidies.”

Musa emphasized the need for electricity to be relatively available for them to operate properly.

He described the indiscriminate digging of boreholes as a problem that needs to be tackled.

But relief has come to the people of Danya and Kyallin-Bula in Bichi LGA of Kano State after 40 years without portable water, as Governor Abba ordered the immediate construction of solar-powered boreholes in the two communities due to the acute water scarcity in the area that persisted for years.

A boy drinks water from a hose in Kano. Photo: Daily News 24.

The development came as a result of a video that resurfaced online depicting the suffering of people, especially women and children, in search of water in those communities.

Speaking to journalists, the state’s Project Coordinator of the Agro Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes, ACReSAL, Dr. Hashim Dahiru, said he was directed with immediate effect to embark upon the project by the governor.

The project was expected to be completed within 72 hours.

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