Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Keffi Water Crisis Bites Harder

Residents of Keffi and environs have been thrown into another long period of hardship over biting water scarcity, barely three weeks after supply was restored there.

"For three weeks now, we have been suffering from absence of water. The situation is so bad because here in Keffi, boreholes don't work because of the topography of this part of the state", said a resident who told Daily Trust that his wives and children have been keeping vigil to fetch from contaminated and stagnant water bodies.

Another, Hajiya Rakyia Asamu, a resident of Angwan Rimi area of Keffi, said her three children have been losing school hours to trekking long distances to fetch from contaminated streams at the outskirt of the metropolis.

The worsening water crisis in Keffi stretches far back to 2010 when supply to the town cut because the state government failed to maintain and upgrade the Mada Water Work which supplies the growing population in Akwanga, Gudi, Garaku, Keffi and environs, over and above its initial capacity.

Water gets to residents of GRA in Keffi, adjoining the 12,500 metre cubes capacity reservoir, only when it is pumped from Mada Water Works along Keffi-Akwanga Road. The water works, constructed along Rafin Gudi in Akwanga local Government Area, with financial support from African Development Bank (ADB), was commissioned by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha on Wednesday, May 22, 1996, four months to the creation of Nasarawa as a state from the old Plateau State.

It last functioned during the administration of Abdullahi Adamu, Nasarawa's first civilian governor, as supply began to dwindle during his successor's administration (Aliyu Akwe Doma), compelling students of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), to pour into streets, severally, in protests.

Not long after the supply was restored in parts of Keffi and environs, late last year, heavy floods occasioned by torrential rains, disrupted the supply, forcing residents to scout for alternative arrangements.

But, again supply has broken, sending many families trekking down the streams. State commissioner for Works, Engr. Wada Yahaya Mohammed who hails from Keffi, weekend, took a tour of the area, and appealed for residents for patients, blaming the situation to scarcity of water treatment chemicals.

"The contractor could not supply chemicals because of nationwide scarcity. You know it is not good for us to supply half treated water. But I can assure you, in a couple of days, we will be well over this problem because the contractor has re-established the supply chain", Engr. Mohammed said.

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