Anambra: Residents Attack EEDC, State Govt Over Extreme Water Scarcity

Anambra State citizens bemoan the hardships caused by the development as electricity supplies in the five South East states continue to diminish.

According to an investigation, the state’s major towns are all experiencing severe water scarcity.

There is hardly any public water supply in Anambra. For instance, over the years, there has been no activity at all at the state water supply and public utilities offices, which have remained merely physical locations.

Because of this, a lot of families get their water via sumo-powered boreholes that are bored into their homes.

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However, the majority of Anambra’s energy supply has been epileptic for about two months.

While the majority of Anambra has continued to experience constant darkness, the areas that do receive electricity are only able to receive low voltage, which is insufficient to run any kind of domestic device, including sumo presses.

Families find it difficult to obtain water because many commercial water sellers are discouraged from entering the market due to the high cost of petrol and fuel.

Many water sellers have stopped selling water, and the ones who do usually charge extremely high prices.

For instance, most people who live in high-rise buildings in the Okpuno district of Awka and cannot afford to use their private boreholes for water pumping must rely on public boreholes, the majority of which are located in remote areas.

A resident, Mrs Rose Obasi said: “In the 10 years I have stayed in Awka, I have never experienced this level of suffering. Almost throughout this term, my children have been going late to school.

“The reason is that they wake up and go to fetch water every morning; before they come back and prepare for school, it is already late.

“The stress they undergo to take water up to the third storey-building where we stay is another work. We are really suffering, and I don’t know when this will come to an end.”

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Mrs. Ifeoma Eke, a neighbour, lamented the effects of the existing state of affairs on women and children who are forced to gather water for domestic use.

“We now need to leave everything else to look for water. In many places, you buy one jerrican for 50 naira.

“You can imagine the impact of the stress on every family. The children are out looking for water when they are expected to get busy with other things,” Eke bemoaned.

A final year student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Amara Chukwudi, was full of frustration over the situation which had made them spend unnecessarily.

“I bathed this morning with sachet water. There was no light and we could not find any means of pumping water in our hostel.

“Remember the price of petrol is equally unfriendly. Nigeria is fast becoming uninhabitable,” she lamented.

A mother of three, Mariam Zaidu, also shared a discomforting tale about the water challenge.

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“More regrettably, this is happening at a time when there is too much heat. My children could not sleep yesterday.

“At the same time, power supply has dropped drastically. We need urgent government intervention, honestly,” she concluded.

In Onitsha, the densely populated commercial capital of Anambra State, electricity consumers also expressed worry over poor supply of electricity and called for withdrawal of licence from the power distribution firm, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).

Some of the consumers, who spoke to Newsmen, claimed that at this critical period of economic crisis where hyperinflation of goods and services was the order of the day, the EEDC had contributed to diminishing their economic fortunes through unnecessary power outages for long hours.

In an interview, businessman Mr. Oseka Ifeajuna, who operates a cold room in Onitsha, said that the self-serving ambitions of electricity distribution company owners are the reason Nigeria is unwilling to become a global economic powerhouse.

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He reasoned that Nigeria’s inadequate electricity supply would have disappeared long ago if the Federal Government, led by the then-President Goodluck Jonathan, had taken some major international electricity companies into consideration.

Since he has no other way to stay in business and operate his cool room, he bemoaned the fact that the rising cost of fuel has also contributed to his company’s decline.

Barber Mr. James Onyedika accused the Federal Government and EEDC, the power distribution corporation, of economically shortchanging Nigerians.

According to Onyedika, the policies and actions of the Federal Government and the EEDC are to blame for the widespread poverty that exists in the nation.

He labelled the power distribution business and the federal government as “agents of darkness.”

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He claimed that the current government in Nigeria was suffocating talented young people.

“This government is hypocritical. They don’t want poor people to survive in this country. How can you ask people to engage in one skill or the other, but at the end come up with one policy to cage the same people you pretend to be helping?” He queried.

He called for the withdrawal of the operating licence of EEDC, saying: ”It is highly unfortunate that a power distribution company managed by an Igbo man is contributing to poverty in the South East knowing that Igbos are industrious people who own several businesses and could be easily affected by poor supply of electricity.”

Reacting to this, the EEDC has insisted that it has the power to supply electricity in the entire South East zone, but stated that the supply of gas has been a major challenge.

In a press release by the spokesperson of the organisation, Mr Emeka Ezeh, EEDC said: “We wish to inform our esteemed customers that the current state of power supply within its network which has resulted in a drop in supply availability is due to low power generation caused by gas constraints to the thermal generating companies.

“This situation is beyond us, and this is not peculiar to EEDC. This development has resulted in low generation, leading to a reduction in the quantum of daily megawatt hour (MWH) of energy allocated to distribution companies nationwide.


“Consequently, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which is our primary source of power supply is constrained, as they only transmit what is generated and have resorted to System Load-shedding to forestall possible system collapse.

“This situation has equally impacted the quality of service to our customers, as we are contending with very low energy allocation wheeled to us by the TCN for distribution to our customers. A situation that has left us load-shedding available power to ensure it goes round.”

As things stand, the ongoing high dollar to naira exchange rate might keep petrol supply prices high for some time, which would have an ongoing impact on the amount of electricity given to EEDC for subsequent distribution to end customers.

A resident, Mr Bala Usman lamented that: “It is even worse that it is happening at this time when the weather is so hot.

“With the level of heat we are experiencing, and nonavailability of power, I’m afraid, we’re headed for the worst.”


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