In Tudun Wada area of Jos, Plateau state capital, residents urinate and defecate in a streams at one end of the town, and fetch the water from the same stream at the other end of the town to prepare ‘burkutu’, a local beer.
In Plateau State where there seems to be emergence of new settlements within the capital, Jos, the need or demand for portable water especially in households is continually on the increase.
In Hwolshe area of Jos north Local Government Area, the picture of the water scarcity there paints a grotesque scenario of a people living on a precipice of an outbreak water bone diseases due to lack of portable water, the only source of water in the community, a stream, is obviously polluted by the refuse dumped in the vicinity of the stream.
The area which is densely populated relies on the stream as its only source of water. In the same vein, Tudun Wada Area also depends on that same stream for its source of water especially during the dry season. However, most worrisome is the fact that along the stream, the people resident in the area have erected makeshift structures which they use in rearing pigs and other domestic animals.
Similarly, toilets have been built along the streams while the households that do not have such facilities have consummated the habit of defecating in the open space along the bank of the stream.
Sadly, despite these unhealthy human activities which take place there, residents in both Hwolshe and Tudun Wada use the water from the stream for domestic consumption particularly in the brewing of the local beer popularly called ‘BURKUTU.’
Investigations revealed that the people have resorted to the use of the water either due to ignorance or the perennial acute water scarcity in the area. This has posed a serious health threat to the people.
Be that as it may, urban slums in Jos have similar sad tales to relay when it comes to the issue of water scarcity. And except an enduring solution to the water scarcity in Hwolshe, Tudun Wada and other similar slums with Jos and environs is put in place, the health hazards associated with this problem would continue to be on the increase.
The story is published under the pro poor WASH stories project implemented by the Water and Sanitation Media Network Nigeria, with the support of West Africa WASH Media Network, WaterAid, and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.