Over 4,000 residents of Zokutu community, Kuje Area Council, Abuja, depend on contaminated water due to lack of access to portable water.
According to TrackNG, a public accountability monitoring body in Nigeria, the community’s problem has persisted for over 20 years.
Despite residents’ efforts to boil water for daily consumption, many have developed ailments and died from consuming the water.
John Matthew, the community’s youth leader, said many residents, including children, have died from consuming the water.
“Two years ago, we lost our children to pipe-borne water diseases. The health clinic here doesn’t have the resources to cure our children from that sickness. So, we lost them,” he said.
A resident of the community, simply identified as Rose, narrated women’s plight during their menstrual cycle.
“I grew up with this water problem. Now I have become a mother and it has become worse. We use rags or old clothes to take care of ourselves during that period with the dirty water like that.
“We are used to it because our pains and cries are not yielding any positive results,” Rose said.
Another resident of the community, who identified as Esther, said, “We drink the water because we don’t have any choice.”
“We have to filter the water by removing some particles before taking it home to boil and drink. The trouble is too much, and it does not still make the water safe.”
“I have spent a lot of money buying drugs. Anytime I use the water without boiling it, I have health issues. It has caused a lot of illness to us in the community.”
Matthew said they have reached out to authorities without results.
“We have written to the local government chairman many times, even the senator, but they did not do anything. It is unclear if they see the letters and just ignore them or if something else is wrong,” he said.
FIJ’s calls to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources were not answered. At press time a mail sent to them had not been responded to.
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