• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Plateau residents seek unsafe alternatives as sachet water hits N400/bag


Residents of Plateau state are grappling with the repercussions of soaring prices, particularly the dramatic rise in the cost of sachet water, which has surged to N400 per bag. This exponential increase has triggered a cascade of challenges for the populace, exacerbating their already precarious living conditions.

The surge in sachet water prices has compelled many residents to resort to alternative sources of drinking water, such as untreated well water, posing significant health risks including exposure to waterborne diseases like cholera. This perilous predicament underscores the urgent need for intervention to safeguard public health.

Dina John, a sachet water vendor in Faringada in Jos South local Government Area who spoke to BusinessDay expressed the profound impact of the price hike on her livelihood.

She highlighted the strain on her family, emphasizing the critical role of the sachet water business as their sole means of sustenance, especially in the absence of employment opportunities.

“Since the hike in the price of sachet water which began since the removal of fuel subsidy, life has been difficult for members of my family because the business is our only means of livelihood, as my husband has been jobless for many years.

“We used to buy a bag of sachet water at N200 sometimes 250, from the various factories in our state, but they now sell at N400 per bag, the implication is that one sachet water is sold at N30 and it has not been easy for us. I am appealing to the government to help us out of this situation”, she said.

The testimonies of individuals like Sunday Danjuma, a father of six from Jos North local government area, underscore the grim reality faced by many families. Danjuma’s poignant account of resorting to well water due to financial constraints paints a stark picture of the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the state.

“I am a commercial driver but my vehicle developed fault and since then, life has not been easy for us because I don’t have money to fix the vehicle.

“My family and I have been drinking sachet water for many years now because we don’t want to fall sick as a result of drinking bad water; but since they started selling a bag at N400, we started drinking our well water because we cannot afford it.

“Almost everything in the market has become very expensive and we don’t know how we can escape from the situation. I am calling on the government to intervene so that prices of commodities can be reduced for the common man,”.

A sachet water producer in the state who did not want his name in print attributes the surge in sachet water prices to the escalating costs of production materials.

He elucidated the domino effect of rising production costs on consumer prices, lamenting the necessity of adjusting prices to sustain operations.

The prevailing situation has sparked widespread concern among residents, who implore the government to intervene and alleviate their plight. The call for intervention echoes throughout the areas visited by BusinessDay, with appeals for measures to mitigate the economic strain on households and ensure access to essential commodities at affordable prices.

Amidst the clamor for relief, residents grapple with the harsh reality of diminishing purchasing power and the erosion of their quality of life. The inability to afford basic necessities, compounded by the relentless inflationary pressures, underscores the urgent need for targeted interventions to alleviate the burden on vulnerable households.

As the cost of living continues to escalate unabated, residents are left grappling with the harsh realities of economic hardship and uncertainty. The clamor for solutions reverberates across Plateau state, underscoring the imperative for concerted efforts to address the underlying drivers of price inflation and alleviate the suffering of the populace.