The residents of Oworonshoki, a suburb of Lagos, have decried lack of access to potable water despite their proximity to the lagoon.
At a press conference in Lagos on Friday, the Oworonshoki Youths Forum (OYF) said the stoppage of the supply of water by the Lagos Water Corporation compounded the water challenge in the community.
Seun Gbogboade, the secretary of the forum, said due to closeness to the lagoon, it is difficult to get quality water in most parts of the community, especially areas close to the lagoon.
“Unavailability of potable water has led to increased household expenditure both in buying sachet water for drinking and borehole water in gallons for other domestic use adding extra financial burden on residents that are struggling already and posing environmental challenges on all (plastic pollution).
“The Lagos State Water Corporation has ceased supplying water to the community for over eight months despite charging residents exorbitant water bills monthly for the irregular and often interrupted public water supply,” he said.
Mr Gbogboade said the water bills served on the community are unjustifiable, added to the irregular supply and long outage of public water.
“An average house within this low-income populated community is billed between N22,000 to N35,000 monthly for the inconsistent supply of public water.
“In the last five months (12th of January to 15th of May), the Lagos State Water Corporation has only supplied water for eight days but still charges households ridiculous fees monthly. Only about 50% of houses in Oworonshoki are connected to the Lagos state public water supply.
“Water scarcity also challenges the ability of residents to keep up with sanitation and healthful living habits while predisposing them to water-borne diseases if the use of contaminated water continues, ” he said.
The residents also lamented the deplorable road network in the community, saying that over “90 percent of the local roads are in a dilapidated state.”
They added that bad drainage channels along the roads increase flood incidences in the community and there have been minimal attempts from the state to address the issue.
The forum said it collaborated with town planning organisations to proffer solutions to the myriad of problems facing the community.
Mr Gbogboade said the problems and solutions are compiled in a book titled “The Oworonshoki We Want: Action Plan” which was published by Rethinking Cities and Heinrich BÖll Stiftung, Abuja.
The group said there must be a corresponding infrastructural and socio-economic development to the significant population growth the community has experienced in the last few years. The priority areas in the action plan are infrastructure (water, road, health and education, electricity), youth and women development, security and safety, and the environment.
Speaking on the water challenge, Mr Gbogboade said the Lagos Water Corporation should restore uninterrupted water supply to the community and stop the “crazy billing system.”
“The Kosofe Local Government should also undertake the construction of borehole facilities in the community,” he said.
The residents also urged the government to construct more public primary and secondary schools in Oworonshoki, and upgrade the current ones, as they are in” “total shambles with decayed infrastructure.”
Mr Gbogboade said the only secondary school in the community, Muslim College, is not sufficient for the population, and students mostly sit on the floor during lectures and are overpopulated in a class.
Efforts to reach Rasaq Anifowose, the spokesperson of the Lagos Water Corporation, over the water situation in the community were unsuccessful. He did not respond to phone calls and a text message sent to him.
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