By Salim Sani Shehu
Despite spending millions of Naira, the residents of Birnin Kudu community in Jigawa State still lack access to portable water.
Our investigation revealed that major parts of Birnin Kudu communities have been grappling with this dire situation for over two years now, despite numerous complaints lodged to the relevant authorities. According to the community members, the problem of water scarcity in the area persists despite government allocating huge amount of money to address the issue, resulting to several challenges for the people in the communities.
In the past, Birnin-Kudu Local Government enjoyed uninterrupted water supply for over four decades utilizing and accessing water from the dams constructed by the former Kano State Governor, Audu Bako. However, subsequent governments pay little attention in maintaining dams forcing wealthy individuals in the community to resort to building boreholes as an alternative source for water, leaving the less privileged in dire situation.
Another concern raised by the residents during an interview with our reporter was the supply of untreated water to the community people by the Jigawa State Ministry for Water Resources. Despite spending 27 million Naira monthly by the Birnin Kudu Local Government authority, portable water remains elusive for the community. This supply of untreated water has caused significant challenges for the residents including adverse health challenges, difficulties in irrigation farming, and domestic usage.
This challenge is not unique to the residents of Birnin Kudu alone in the state, reports by Wikkitimes and Sahara Reporters in 2021 revealed that Jigawa State Government spent six billion Naira on portable water supply in the state, yet the situation remains unaddressed in many local governments in the state including Birnin-Kudu Local Government.
Speaking to Jigawa State Radio Cooperation, the chairman of Birnin Kudu Local Government, Magaji Yusuf Gigo stated the Local Government spends approximately 27 million Naira every month to provide portable water to the residents but the problem persists. Lamenting about the recent problem encountered in the Local Government, the chairman attributed it to technical fault in the engines that power the motorized water channels.
A resident of the community queried that if the previous administrations could pumped water three times a day why the current administration with all the money being spent could not supply the water at this moment when people need it the most.
In an exclusive interview with our reporter, a resident of the community, Mallam Da’u of Rijiya-Bakwai, lamented that he spends over 1000 Naira every day on water, but still it could not be enough for his daily usage. Speaking to our correspondent also, Malam Ashiru Yaro of Mahauta also shared his frustration, stating, “I cannot recalled the last time I turn on my tap and saw water.”
This water scarcity has caused local communities lose their primary source of income, which is irrigation farming. Discussing the challenges irrigation farmers are facing in the community, Malam Bala Mai Kayan Gwari who spoke with our correspondent in distress said “before this issue started we used untreated water released from dam for watering. However, since this problem arose, we resorted to using pumping machines which is very costly due to the high cost of diesel in the country”
Also, speaking to our correspondent, Malam Sani Zakari stated that his child was hospitalized due to drinking untreated water released from the dam.
In the 2023 budget, the Jigawa state government allocated over 200 million Naira for water supply and other related issues. However, the question remain, would this money be utilized for its intended purpose?