By Philip Yatai and Jamila Yusuf

Residents of Shooting Range, Kabala Doki in Kaduna metropolis say they rely mainly on mobile water vendors due to the absence of potable water in the area in the past six years.

The mobile water vendors, popularly known as “mai-ruwa’’ sell water from door-to-door to households with pushcarts in the area.

Although some of the residents have boreholes, most of the boreholes have either broken down or not working.

The residents described the situation as terrible, saying that “mai-ruwa’’ remained the major suppliers of water to the over 80 per cent population of the area.

A resident, Yahaya Mua’zu said that the water situation in the area had made life unbearable as residents were being forced to put some house chores on hold due to lack of water.

“Currently, our only source of water is mai-ruwa, who supply water to our door steps at N25 per 20 litre plastic jerry can.

“This is very expensive because a family will need at least 960 litres a day at N1, 200, meaning a family will spent N8, 400 a week and N33, 600 a month for water.

“This is huge. How much does an average family earn in a month to afford to spend N33, 600 every month on water?

Mu’azu called on the state government to do something about the situation to alleviate the suffering of the residents.

Another resident, Ms Sherifat Saidi pointed out that life would have been even more difficult for the community, if like tap water, the mai-ruwas were not available to supply water for residents.

“The water vendors are really helping around here. Though very expensive, if you put together how much one has to spend on water every day, but we have no other alternative,” Saidi said.

For Mrs Risiqat Yusuf, the water situation was so bad that her house help left because of the stress of fetching water from neighbouring houses or nearby mosque.

“When she left, I started using my car to fetch water until mai-ruwas came to the rescue and all I have to do is to pay them to get me the quantity I need to meet my daily water needs,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mrs Hafsat Yakubu, pointed out that those who do not have borehole and could not afford to buy water from mai-ruwa must go through everyday stress of fetching water themselves.

“It is not fair that, we the less privileged have to go through so much stress to get water as crucial as it is to human survival,” Yakubu said.

For Ladi Muhammad, a hair stylist, the water scarcity in the area had impacted negatively on small businesses and appealed to the state government to do something about it.

Some of the water vendors, mostly in their early and late 20s, told NAN that they make daily income of between N2, 000 and N2, 500.

One of them, Abdulaziz Kareem said that he usually got water from boreholes in houses of rich people in the area and supplied to between five and 10 houses daily.

Another vendor, Hashim Ahmed said that although they make some money, the job requires a lot of strength to push the two-wheel cart.

“It is labour intensive and most of us begin the day’s job from 9:00 a.m. to around 4:00 p.m. and sometimes, we hardly meet the water need of the people due to high demand,” he said.