The Niger State Water Board says inadequate electricity supply is responsible for the shortage of portable water supply in Minna and its environ for over three weeks.
Alhaji Hassan Chado, the General Manager of the board, disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna on Sunday.
Charo said: “The kind of electricity supply we are getting from the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company now can hardly power our water pumping machines.
“This is why we are having the shortage of water and when we use our 2,000 KVA generator, it is only a few people that will get the water.”
Chado said it took N1 million to run the generator for 24 hours in order to power the water pumps.
“Aside that some parts of the state capital will not get the water when we use generator, we cannot even sustain it because of the high cost,” he said.
He explained that the task of supplying portable water was capital intensive, adding that there were problems of inadequate funding of the sector by previous governments in the state.
This, he said, had forced the present administration to go extra mile to develop the sector.
Chado noted that five critical components in the sector include: pumping equipment, water treatment facilities, power supply, pipeline and raw water source which had almost been neglected by the previous administrations.
‘’Previous governments have not made tangible investment in the water sector. This is what is affecting us now.”
He said that the state government was working with the US-Agency for International Development, French Development Agency and other international partners to develop the sector.
“Our development partners have promised to us loan, grants and technical support to develop the sector,” he said.
Chado said the board was working with the AEDC to solve the problem of power supply to Chanchaga Water Works which supplies water to Minna and its environ.
Alhaji Adamu Mohammed, Public Relations Officer, AEDC, told NAN that the company was carrying out maintenance work on the transmission line to the water works.
Mohammed said the state government had already discussed with the AEDC on the need to increase the hours of power supply to the state.
“We have increased power supply from eight hours to 12 hours per day, meaning six hours in the afternoon and night respectively,” he said.
Jacinta Ahube, a resident of Chanchaga near Minna, said they have not had pipe borne water for over three weeks now.
Ahube said: “The water will just drop for two to five minutes and stop, it is sad especially, now that the weather is very hot.
‘’We buy a wheelbarrow load of 25 litres of ten jerry-cans between N300 and N400 depending on the distance and the water vendor.”
NAN reports that in Minna and Chanchaga water vendors took advantage of the situation to exploit residents who needed water to cushion the effect of the hot weather.