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I now drink borehole water, can't afford hygienic options - FCT resident

According to reports, a unit price of pure water recently hiked by more than 100% and is now being sold at ₦50 from ₦20.

FCT residents turn to tap water as sachet water prices soar [Envirowater]

The residents, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said that they could not cope with the recent increase in the cost of sachet water.

NAN reports that a unit price of sachet water, popularly known as “pure water” was recently hiked by more than 100% and is now being sold at ₦50 from ₦20.

Rachel Joshua, a civil servant and a resident of Garki, said that a bag of sachet water now costs ₦600 in her area, as against ₦300 it was sold for a few weeks ago. She said: “Water is a necessity, even if it is to be sold, it should not be this expensive. I’m even tired of buying it because I cannot cope with the cost.

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“In the past few days, I just boiled my drinking water and allowed it to cool and then put it in bottles and freeze. It has saved me much and it is worth it,’’ she said.

However, Peter Bawah, a resident of Kubwa, told NAN that “since water is a major necessity, buying sachet water is unavoidable despite the price increase.

“I still buy sachet water although in small quantity, because, at ₦50, it is now out of reach of the common man.

He said boiling water would have been a better option but the price of gas had also increased, thereby making it impossible.

“I have resorted to drinking water directly from the tap since I cannot afford the hygienic means of boiling water before drinking.

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“I now drink borehole water because if I have to boil my drinking water, I have to use my cooking gas and that too, is also expensive.

“I am trying to use my cooking gas with caution so it can last longer, I just drink the water like that,” Bawah stated.

Debora Ali, also a resident of Garki, told NAN that life had not been easy for her family since the increase in the cost of sachet water. According to her, "we no longer buy sachet water since there are other ways to get potable water.

“Some of these sachet water are not even clean, anyone can buy a sealing machine and pour anything in it and sell.”

“Although bottled water is now more expensive with the realisation that tap water can possibly be sold as pure water, some of us had to switch to bottled water,” Ali added.

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Similarly, Amarachi Eke, a resident of Nyanya, said that she used to buy 10 bags of sachet water every week for ₦1,700 for her household but now the same amount of bags sell for ₦5,000.

“It has not been easy at all, we had to cut down the number of bags to five, which is ₦2,500 in my area and we managed it for the week.

“I have introduced boiling water in large portions to my wards to store in containers for drinking.

“This is because we cannot continue to cut the amount of water we drink because we cannot afford it,” she said.

However, Bella Oyin, another resident and a trader who deals in sachet water, said that she got her supply of sachet water from distributors at ₦550 per bag and sometimes, at ₦400 per bag. The difference, she explained, depended on the company that produced the water and probably, the cost of production about printing, packaging and logistics.

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Oyin also said that the cost of buying ice blocks to cool the water before the sale was another reason for the increase in the price of sachet water. She, however, said that she sometimes sold a sachet for ₦50 each and other times, two, for ₦50 and may have to stop selling it if the price kept going high.

“A lot of people cannot afford it again especially those with large families.

“They don’t buy like before again because they cannot afford it like when it was cheaper."

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