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Benue residents battle water scarcity amid price hike

By News Desk, with agency report

Residents across Makurdi, the Benue capital and its environs have been having hard time getting portable water after they were hit by acute water scarcity creating fears of possible outbreak of water-borne diseases in the town and other neighbouring communities.

As gathered, most inhabitants of the town have resorted to buying water from water tankers and some individual water vendors who buy in large quantity from water tankers and retail to consumers.

Areas affected by the scarcity include Wadata, Demekpe, High Level, Achussa, Nyima, Kanshio, Welfare Quarters, Wurukum, North Bank, Gyado Villa and the highbrow Judges Quarters.

During investigation on Thursday, our correspondent who went round the state capital gathered that water vendors were having a filled day, as a result of the scarcity. Also, the situation has been made worse by some water vendors who, in a bid to make brisk money now take water directly from River Benue to sell to unsuspecting consumers.

The scarcity has also elicited sharp increase in water rates as a 20 litre jerry can of water, formerly sold for N20, now costs N30, while 1,000 litre water tank sold for N3,000 before now goes for N3,500.

While confirming the development, a resident of Wadata who identified herself as Doofan Igba, said that for years, they had no access to pipe-borne water because their area was not connected. Igba who explained that she had lived in Wadata for over 15 years and never had access to water, urged the government to reticulate the area.

Another resident of Demekpe, Iember Eze, said that overtime, they had been surviving on either water from well or water from vendors. She added that even water vendors had hiked the price, adding that not all residents could afford the price.

Reacting, the General Manager, Benue State Water Board, Gideon Shenge, said that most residents refused to pay water bills within the state capital and were disconnected.

Shenge said that the board was pumping water regularly to areas that were reticulated. He said until the whole capital city was reticulated, many parts of the town would not have access to water, especially the new layouts.

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