Bayelsa residents cry for portable water

By Afahame Bassey, Yenagoa

Residents of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital have lamented over unavailability of portable water, pleading with the state government to provide portable water for the people by ensuring that state water board is functional and dispense water to households.

Residents told journalists, who monitored the water situation in the state capital that despite buying water at exorbitant rate, it is not still well treated for drinking, as oil exploration in the state has polluted the water .

It was gathered that water vendors, popularly called ‘Majuwa’ and the private boreholes are the only source of portable water in the state as government owned water board is not functional.

A resident, Madam Joy Owei, living in Yenagoa village near Bayelsa government house, pleaded with the government to make portable water available.

She said: “Let the government give us water. We are suffering too much because of water. Things are also very expensive. So if we have water now, it will help us to do our house chores.

Another resident in Yenagoa, Mr Preye Thompson, pleaded with the state government to provide portable water to the residents to ease the hardship associates with lack of water.

He said: “Government Should provide portable water for us. People are digging borehole in their houses while those that can’t afford it are buying a can of water from vendors between N70 and N100 a bucket.

The General Manager of Bayelsa State Water Board, Mr Fredrick Suku-Ogbari, could not be reached as he was not picking his calls, even a text sent to his number was not responded to.

He was also not on seat when Journalists visited the water board.

But a staff of the Bayelsa Water Company, who pleaded anonymity revealed that the water board staff were also buying water from vendors , before borehole was recently dug in the facility.

She said the non availability of portable water for Yenagoa residents is due to lack of funds, as water board is not funded by the government as supposed.

During Governor Douye Diri administration in its first four years, people of the state have been without portable water in Yenagoa, the state capital, though he promised during his second term Inauguration that he will provide portable water for the people of the state.

The governor had earmarked N600 million, N248 million and N1,441,938,082 in 2021, 2022 and 2023 budgets respectively for the provision of portable water in the state.

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