Nigerians living in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, have lamented the over hundred percent rise in the price of sachet water popularly known as ‘Pure Water’ .
According to them, President Muhammadu Buhari government has finally finished the masses by taking ‘ordinary’ water out of their reach.
Findings shows that what is known as a bag of sachet water which contains 20 sachets, is now sold for N200 to N250 by factories while retailers sell for N300 to N400 as against the initial price of Between N80 to N150.
This means that a 50 cl sac of ‘pure water’, which was sold for N10 before now, is now sold for nothing less than N20 to N30 depending on the area.
Resellers such as cold room operators may sell at N240 a bag.
This development follows the trend of minute by minute rise in prices of goods and services in the country currently battling unimaginable inflation.
Some sections of Abuja residents who shared their grievances with Newsmen lamented that “pure water” has been their saviour due to the unavailability of a reliable supply of safe and hygienic water.
Findings further reveal that millions of people in the country, especially in the commercial cities, shanties and rural areas rely on the popular “pure water” for their daily drinking needs.
“Pure water” producers, under the Association of Table Water Producers Association of Nigeria, on Thursday announced they have imposed an increase due to rising production costs.
“Water producers are to sell to their customers if less than 100 bags at N200 per bag,” the notice partly said.
However, some ‘pure water’ companies who spoke to Newsmen in Abuja all cited the increase in cost of production, saying that they could no longer afford to produce at a loss.
“We can’t continue the way we were going. At a point, many of us wanted to shut down completely but after our general meeting last week, we decided to carry on but not as we use to,” one of the factory operators, who pleaded not to be mentioned.
“What is the essence of venturing in a business if instead of making gains you are losing the little one you’ve secured. Prices of raw materials we use for production are now 200 percent higher than what we used to buy them. So the only option to remain in business is to increase the price of the product,” he added.
Nigerians on the streets of Abuja and market places are not happy with the development and are calling on the government to show more concern to the plight of ordinary Nigerians.
June Ibegbulam, who loads taxi in Wuse motor park, said, “My brother, this one tire me. How we wan take survive? Just when we dey talk say we no fit buy food chop again, now water don join food. I stand here under the sun for the whole day. When it was N10, I drink at least 10 to 15 but now, I have to reduce it 5. This government is killing us faster than we expected. Na only God go save us.”
Mama Aminat, a market woman in AMAC Market, said, “Wetin you want make I talk? You no know say everything don spoil? Buhari don finally finish us.
The worse you can do to any living thing is to deny them water. Food aside, no one can do without water and that many people can no longer afford ordinary ‘pure water’ is a big problem. I be mama, I get four children. Before, we dey buy 3 bags for N360. But now 3bags na N750. Tell me, how we wan take do am? Na only water person go drink?”
An Abuja based medical expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Newsmen that the hike in price of sachet water may lead to waterborne diseases and deaths.
According to him, people, mostly those living in shanties and rural areas will now resort to contaminated water due to their inability to afford cleaner water for themselves and members of their families.
He listed some of the most common waterborne diseases to include “Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Giardia, Dysentery, Escherichia Coli (E. coli), Hepatitis A, Salmonella” and called on the current administration to “see to the welfare of ordinary Nigerians,” adding that “if all citizens have access to clean water, these diseases would not exist.”