Custodians of FCT water source lament no access to potable water

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Many people in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)’s Bwari Area Council have complained about the lack of drinkable water in their communities, despite the fact that they are surrounded by water.

The residents find it ironic that despite being in their domain, the Usuma dam—the primary water supply for the Federal Capital Territory and its environs—does not provide them with access to drinkable water.

They see it as an instance of the famous line from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink.”

Residents in the majority of the area council’s communities bemoaned the absence of drinkable water in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Communities in the area council, such as Igu, Kawu, Gaba, and Zuma villages, lack access to a water supply and rely on rain and dirty stream water for domestic use and drinking, according to Mr. John Awoyi, the leader of the Bwari Youths Forum.

“Boreholes exist in some places, but they’re either poor quality or not enough to serve a big community.

“Most primary health centers in our communities lack potable water, so our healthcare facilities are not exempt from this challenge.

“Government at all levels, including non-governmental organizations that can provide assistance, must give us their immediate attention,” he declared.

Access to portable water has always been difficult in the area, according to Mrs. Martha Kuchibuyi, a resident of SCC Road, Bwari Town, who spoke with NAN.

After more than 20 years of living in the area with her family, Kuchibuyi claimed she had not experienced much access to water or electricity.

“Three years ago, the pumping machine that was used to maintain a borehole in my personal home was stolen.

“Although we currently get our water from my neighbor’s borehole, we don’t even have a steady power source to pump it.

“Even when it works, there are times when the water is unclean and the line is long,” she stated.

According to Kuchibuyi, the only other option was to pay a hefty price for water from Mairuwa, a vendor, even though they couldn’t trust the source of the supply.

She urged all pertinent parties to move quickly to connect the area council’s communities to the Usuma Dam supply.

In a similar vein, a resident named Mr. Joseph Busason, an assistant at the palace of Ushafa Chief, informed NAN that although his community hosts the Usuma dam in the Federal Capital Territory, locals still purchase water from water vendors.

Busason claimed that the majority of the Bwari Area Council’s residents were not connected to the FCT Water Board’s water supply.

He claimed that the few communities that were connected to the source did not always have access to water.

It is extremely difficult to obtain drinkable water in this area council because some residents have to pay the local water vendors around N2000 a day for their water.

He declared, “We are requesting that the FCT Administration’s appropriate authorities investigate the issue we are having.”

The Bwari Area Council’s Chairman, Mr. John Gabaya, acknowledged the council’s problem with drinkable water.

According to Gabaya, the Council gave some primary healthcare facilities in the district access to a solar borehole water scheme in 2023 in an effort to lessen the hardship that the locals faced in this area.

The Chairman announced that more communities would be involved in the project’s replication while introducing the Council’s 2024 appropriation.

The Bwari area council, which is home to the Usuma dam, did not have access to drinkable water from the source, according to an FCT Water Board official.

The official, who begged to remain anonymous because they had no authority to speak on the matter, clarified that the high topography near the dam is what allows gravity to supply the FCT with tap water.

Regretfully, the official stated that the majority of the communities in Bwari Area Council were situated in a topography that was higher than the dam, meaning they were able to withstand the force of the water’s gravity.

The official stated that the Water Board must use a generator to pump water to the Bwari communities so they can have access to potable water.

The official stated that the area’s consistent water supply had been impacted by the stress.

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