For over six months now or so, water scarcity in Buea, has skyrocketed to record heights. Residents go for days, and sometimes weeks without a drop of the precious liquid, dripping from their taps. That has caused untold health hazards to many of the residents who suffer from morphological and physiological illnesses.
According to residents of almost all quarters that make up Buea, water has become so scarce, they resolved in recycling the liquid for cleaning and bathing.
“It is so unbelievable that I have a tap, yet I go for weeks with no running water. We trek for miles to go carry water from a stream. That has caused us to recycle water for cleaning and bathing. When we wash plates or clothes, we keep the water for toilet use. We store water for weeks only so we can have some. It is unbelievable that in the 21st century, we are living this kind of life,” lamenting Mm Florence Membang, a civil servant in Buea Town.
In spite of the unavailability of water, households complain of huge bills issued them by the water utility company. According to many, they are billed for meters and sometimes they never consume.
“For some months now, I have been receiving water bills whereas, I have not got water running in my home pipes for ages. I complained to the water distribution company but all I was told was, the situation will be rectified,” Roland Kabila, a home owner in Molyko, Buea.
Buea Councillors Care Less About Their People – NCHRF-SW Boss
Meantime, the Secretary General (SG) of the National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms for the Southwest (NCHRF-SW), Chris Tambe Tiku, indicated Councillors of the Buea Council are a bunch of egocentric beings who care less about their people. He indicated that basic utilities like water, electricity and stables, are supposed to be provided by the local council. Unfortunately, according to him, these bunch of sycophants cum, Councillors, would instead vote fabulous amount of money for the renovation of their Mayor’s house, while their people lavish in anguish poverty.
“It is unbelievable that a people supposedly representing the population, would go into a sitting to vote millions for somebody who has more, than to advocate for the provision of basic necessity like portable water, for their people. They are there for their interest and care less about the people who vote them into office,” Chris Tambe said.
Boreholes, Helping, Yet Killing
This water crisis has resulted to the digging of boreholes in numerous quarters in Buea. Locals say, boreholes are greatly helping them especially as they go for months without portable water run in their pipes. They use water from boreholes to cook, wash, and even drink.
“Ever since I came to Bomaka in 2015, I have not had any drop of portable water from my tap. We resulted to constructing a borehole in 2016 that has been helping us a great deal. We use the water to bathe, cook, wash clothes, and sometimes drink,” Esther Ijang said.
But do these boreholes really solve matters? With a critical look, one won’t be in a haste to say that boreholes are solving problems. Rather they are posing more subtle problems.
Health wise, water from boreholes are scientifically not good for drinking. According to medical research, water from boreholes cause waterborne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, amongst others. When consumed for long, one risk losing life.
Furthermore, engineers say erecting boreholes adjacent to a building cause great effects on the foundation of buildings. According to building engineers, vibrations emitting from digging deep into the soil, coupled with water softening the soil, the foundation of buildings risk collapsing after a period of time. In addition, in an environment like Buea where there is uncertainty to eruption boreholes are a cause for concern.
By Lucas Muma,
Managing Editor – BaretaNews