Olufunmilayo Falobi firstname.lastname@example.org
Lagos State is one of the commercial centres in Nigeria. The state also refers as state of aquatic splendour is surrounded by water and also play host to the Atlantic Ocean. However, residents in some suburbs areas of the state do not have access to portable water as many rely on borehole and those that do not have borehole in their houses buy water for use. Iju-Ishaga, a suburb in Ifako Ijaiye local government area of the state is where the State Water Corporation is located.
The corporation provides water services to the residents mostly in the urban areas. Nevertheless, residents in Iju-Ishaga have to buy water from water vendors popularly known as Meruwa. The Meruwas are mostly Northerners who came to Lagos for business. Those that do not patronize the meruwa have boreholes in their houses from where they get water. However, the question has been raised to the quality of water that is being bought from the Meruwas. Investigation revealed that some of them (meruwa) do not wash the kegs they use for business often and as such, residents discover particles whenever they buy water from them. A water dealer simply identified as Ibrahim said “I wash my gallons once in every two weeks.”
While in some others it could be more than that. Inquest shows that residents buy 10 gallons of water at the rate of N200.00 while in some areas; it is higher than that depending on the structure of the building. In a two storey building, occupants at the ground floor pay N200 while those on the first floor pay N250 and those on the second floor pay N300.
In Ifo Local government area in Ogun State, a boundary between Lagos and Ogun, residents also buy water while many rely on borehole. Residents explained that initially they buy water from meruwa at N200 but after the removal of fuel subsidy protest by Nigerians in which the Federal Government of Nigeria increased petrol pump price from N65 to N97, residents now buy 10 gallons of water at N300. According to the residents, “we have to continue to buy water for survival since we are not under the water corporation scheme. Is either we buy directly from those that have borehole in their houses or we patronize the meruwa,” they said.
Consequently, residents face more water challenge during raining season. This is because the meruwas would leave Lagos State and go back to their base in the north for farming. During that period, residents always find it difficult to get water.