Nigeria: Lagos Govt, Unable to Provide Water for Residents, Criticised for Sealing Private Water Agency

The Lagos State government came under heavy criticism Tuesday after the state's Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) announced it had sealed a private water agency on Banana Island for falling short of quality standards for water production in the state.

According to the LSWRC, the Banana Island Property Owners Resident Association (BIPORAL) Water Treatment Plant was sealed "for failing to meet the required safety and quality standards."

"The regulatory compliance seal order on the BIPORAL water plant supplying water to residents of Banana Island was sequel to the tests earlier conducted by the LSWRC, which revealed that the water quality of the plant was unsafe for consumption and required improved treatment."

This exercise was done amidst the acute water shortage bedevilling many residents of Lagos State as a result of the failure of the state government to supply water.

The Executive Secretary of LSWRC, Funke Adepoju, said the decision was taken to protect residents from consumption of unhygienic water which is harmful to health.

"She said the plant will remain shut until necessary improvements are carried out by the service provider in line with the drinking water quality control of the State Government and the plant recertified safe to resume operation.

"While maintaining that the Lagos State government is very much interested in the quality of the water consumed by residents, Adepoju declared that no unwholesome practice that will endanger the people's health would be allowed," the statement contained.

Water shortage in Lagos

Several areas of Lagos being supplied water by the Lagos State Water Corporation have been enduring lack of water supply in the last two months, PREMIUM TIMES' reporter learnt.

While some residents registered their complaints on Twitter, others are seen on the streets of Lagos on a daily basis, looking for portable water.

A report by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) also revealed how several waterworks in Lagos State are not functional, while those producing water are producing below the required capacity.

Some of the waterworks CAPPA visited include Adiyan, Akilo-Ogba, Badagry, Bariga, Epe, Ifako-Ijaiye, Iju, Isashi and Lekki waterworks, which are supposed to provide Lagos residents about 137.6 million gallons of water per day.

The organisation said the 13 waterworks visited during a three-month investigation on the status of the waterworks in Lagos revealed the 'grim water situation' in the state.

"Not only did we discover that many of the waterworks were performing abysmally below capacity, at the time of the most crucial need for residents, most were practically on lockdown."

According to the report, some of the reasons why the waterworks were performing abysmally include faulty engines, irregular power supply and lack of manpower among others.

Public outcry

Following the announcement of the sealing of BIPORAL, many Twitter users have condemned lack of water supply in the state and the government sealing up private agencies for doing the work of the government.

A Twitter user, @iamMrAbodunrin tweeted;

"Sealing up a privately funded water plant when u can't even provide one despite huge taxes paid shows how clueless and anti people the @followlasg is.

"What's the required safety and quality standard, have u been to any of the Lagos State water corporation offices to check if they met any standards? Hypocrisy is when u can't put your house in order but goes mediating in other people's businesses," the user tweeted.

Another user tweeted, "In this Lagos? There is water cooperation? They are sealing people up? Do they ever give people water? With their pipes in gutter, do they give people clean water?

Like seriously?!?!"

Another user, @Mumbeauty1 tweeted;

"Useless people, all government water pipes pass through dirty gutters and refuse dump sites and for the pass 2 months now we have not seen water flow... "

While sealing BIPORAL, Mrs Adepoju, said that the power of the Commission to regulate the activities of the water sector by monitoring water quality is being exercised because so much caution has been thrown to the wind in water production and profit is placed above safety.

The Executive Secretary added that all water producers and private service providers in residential estates in Lagos, are all obligated by the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law, 2017, to deliver water that meets quality specified by the regulator.

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