Latrikunda Sabiji residents decry acute water scarcity

Latrikunda Sabiji residents decry acute water scarcity

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By Amadou Jadama

The residents of Latrikunda Sabiji have called on the Barrow government to swiftly intervene and resolve the acute water saga they have been facing for 21 years now.

Philip Anthony Sylva told The Standard over the weekend: “There has literally not been any drop of water from Nawec’s taps since August 2021, and prior to that, we were only having water between 3am and 5am, a status quo that has been lingering for 21 years.”

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He added that both day and night, the people of Latrikunda Sabiji predominantly women, can be seen struggling to carry buckets to and from privately owned boreholes whose waters are not potable. Others, he said, use 20-litre gallons placed in wheelbarrows to get water from the Nawec Latrikunda Sabiji branch.

“Many people pay D10 for every 20-litre gallon to the wheelbarrow pushers to fetch water for them at the Nawec branch in Latrikunda Sabiji. Some people end up paying up to D300 every day to wheelbarrow pushers just to be able to have water,“ he said.

According to him, some people trek all the way to Fajikunda, some kilometres away in search of water.”

Asked whether they have reported the matter to Nawec, Mr Sylva responded: “Nawec has known about it since the problem started. All the people affected go to Nawec to lodge complaints every day. But all they tell us is that it is due to low water pressure. But low pressure for 21 years? That is serious. I therefore, urge  the government to address this ordeal.”

Kumba Kaw Jallow and Fatoumata Bah  echoed similar remarks. 

When contacted, the spokesman of Nawec Pierre Sylva, told The Standard: “One thing I need to clarify here is that it is not sensible for people to tell you that they have water connection in their area but for 21 years they have not been getting water… All I know is that for the past couple of months, we have had some problems. I think there were some road construction and they spoiled one of the main pipes that supplied the area. It was not known until the residents began to see that there was no water coming from their taps.

“We engaged our water department and they discovered that the road construction had damaged some of our pipes and they are going to do some remedy work. So I need to apologise on behalf of Nawec for this.”

“So the noise has been going until Pura engaged Nawec to do something about it, and yesterday they said Nawec together with Pura, went there to assess. I am sure [by now] Nawec has done something. If there is something disturbing the customers, the service provider must find a lasting solution to it or Pura will fine the company a huge sum of money, and I know Nawec will not want that. So since the management is aware of it, I know that the problem will be solved as soon as possible.”