Real reasons persistent water shortage has continued to hit Gusau metropolis in Zamfara State have emerged.
The scarcity of the commodity has subjected residents to unnecessary hardship.
In an exclusive interview in Gusau, the State capital, the Managing Director of the State Water Board, Alhaji Buhari Salihu Dosara blamed the scarcity on the State government’s refusal to release funds for operation of the Board.
Dosara explained that the government was fully responsible for maintenance of the Board but did not fund it, saying that the State government further declared free water to all consumers, making it impossible for the Board to generate revenue.
“Since the State government refused to release funds for operation of the Board for enough water and worsened the matter by declaring free water for consumers, then how could anybody expect enough water”, he lamented.
Dosara also lamented that all the equipment that provides water for consumers had been grounded due to the refusal of the State government to release funds, pointing out that even the generators were no longer functioning perfectly.
He recalled that about three months ago, the State’s deputy Governor, Senator Hassan Nasiha Muhammad Gusau paid an unscheduled visit to the Board where he was informed of the situation, stressing that despite assurances, nothing had been done.
Report states that residents of Gusau, Zamfara State capital and its environs have been crying out seriously over the lingering water scarcity, lamenting that they have to trek some kilometers in search of the scarce essential commodity.
This medium also reports that the acute water shortage has forced water vendors to be selling a 25 liters jerrican of water for N80 as against N30.
Mustapha, a water vendor, popularly called Mai ruwa revealed that the vendors also suffered before accessing water to sell and at a very high price, saying that the water vendors sell as they buy.
“We, the vendors no longer get water frоm the State Water Board because of acute water shortage in the Board. The fault is not from us, we also suffer to get the essential commodity,” he said.
A restaurant operator in Gusau, popularly known as Madam Quality, said she spends huge amounts of money on a daily basis to buy water, saying that increasing the price of her food may chase away some of her customers.
But when contacted on phone, the State commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara denied the allegations.
He further stated that the Managing Director of the State water Board was right by mentioning that the State government declared free water for consumers because it is the government’s policy.
He said: “when the MD responded to your questions as representing the government, I cannot believe he said that. But I believe what he told you is ‘The government is not taxing the water consumers for its policy of making life easier for the common man while government revenue is not forthcoming. This made it very difficult for the board to sustain regular daily water supply.’
“But he cannot tell you that the government is not funding the board. How do they get the chemicals they are using? How are they maintaining their equipment if the government is not funding the board?”